The Portuguese tactician endured his most emotionally draining moments at the continental championship before Nigeria secured the victory
Super Eagles head coach has applauded the resilience and organisation of South Africa’s national football team after leading Nigeria to the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Soccernet.ng reports.
Nigeria defeated South Africa on penalties in the semifinal of the AFCON on Wednesday to advance to their eighth final appearance at the continental showpiece.
The Bafana Bafana were the better side in the first half of the clash and missed chances to take the lead.
However, Nigeria came out strong in the second half to break the deadlock courtesy of a William Troost-Ekong penalty after Victor Osimhen had done brilliantly to draw the foul in the box.
And when it looked like the Super Eagles had netted a second goal, South Africa won their own penalty, which Mokoena converted to drag the tie into extra time.
Nigeria’s goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali was the hero this time as he stopped two Bafana Bafana spot-kicks to steer the Super Eagles to the title-deciding match.
After securing victory in what was Nigeria’s first match in Cote d’Ivoire to last into extra time and penalties, coach Peseiro remains convinced that his side deserved to reach the final.
The former Porto boss was, however, full of commendation for South Africa and their Belgian coach for giving Nigeria a good fight.
“The players deserve to be in the finals, it’s a very good victory against a good team,” Peseiro said after the game.
“I said it earlier that South Africa have the best of organisation because they play together, and they created more problems for us. It was very difficult to beat them.
“I think it was very difficult to beat them. Huge congratulations to Hugo Broos, who put this team together. They played well.”
Nigeria will meet Cote d’Ivoire in the final on Sunday after the hosts defeated DR Congo 1-0 in the other semifinal.
The two nations met during the group stages of the competition, with the Super Eagles claiming a tough 1-0 win thanks to Troost-Ekong’s well-taken penalty.