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AFCON U-20: South Africa Claim Bronze After Beating Nigeria

It took a penalty shootout for South Africa to claim their bronze medal as they finished as the Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations tournament number three side.

It took a penalty shootout for South Africa to claim their bronze medal as they finished as the Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations tournament’s number three side when they defeated Nigeria 5-3 on penalties at Stade General Seyni Kountche on Saturday evening in Niger.

Captain Khulekani Kubheka was the hero for the South Africans as he pulled off an important save in the Flying Eagles’ initial spot kick in the shootouts.

Nigeria saw most of the ball in the opening stages of the game and they nearly broke the deadlock just one minute into the encounter.

Flying Eagles forward Adamu Ibrahim had a chance to score in the 8th minute but his effort was blocked by Nigeria’s defense from a close range.

Amajitas then started to probe for an opener after Nigerians dominated in the first 10 minutes.

Ogundare Banabars had to make a save as he turned away a long-range shot by Bayanda Shangase. Then Malebogo Modise found some space on the edge of the box and the Amajita striker forced Banabars again into a low save in the 24th minute.

Although Nigeria looked the most threatening side towards the interval, Luvuyo Phewa made a shocking miss after receiving a beautiful pass from Givemore Khupe, firing across the face of goal with his right foot after beating Ogundare Detan.

Both sides went to the tunnel with no goals to show for it and Thambo Senong men continued where they left off in the second stanza and put Flying Eagles under pressure.

Duen was called into action when he saved Njabulo Blom header from a corner but Nigeria came with pace and put the Amajitas on their back foot as Kubheka saved Kodisang attempt following a pass by Simphiwe Ncamani.

In the 66th minute, Bolasie fired a beautiful shot but the keeper parried for a corner. The West Africans in retaliation through Eletu, missed from outside the box when his attempt went wide to the left.

In the last 10 minutes, both sides probed for a winner but Kubheka was alert to save Abubakar Ibrahim shot and it was evident that both sides settled for a penalty shootout.

South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal and Mali will be the continent’s representatives at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland in May.

Mali and Senegal will battle for the top prize this evening in Niamey as the biennial tournament reaches its climax.

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