African Nations Championship match reportNigeria reach Chan quarter-finals at South Africa's expense
Posted: 19 January 2014 Time: 20:54
Nigeria reached the quarter-finals of the African Nations Championship after defeating tournament hosts South Africa 3-1 in Cape Town on Sunday night.
The Super Eagles, who needed a win to advance, prevailed via an Ejike Uzoenyi brace, and strike from Ifeanyi Ede, with Bernard Parker pulling one back for Bafana Bafana at Cape Town Stadium.
Both countries had men sent off, with Solomon Kwambwe and Bafana's Vuyo Mere given their marching orders late.
Mali finished top of Group A, beating Mozambique 2-1 at Athlone Stadium.
Nigeria were boosted by the return to fitness of Ugonna Uzochukwu and Benjamin Francis, although the duo started the game from the bench.
Both teams started the game on a positive note, with Bafana's Parker trying his luck in the fourth minute, but his effort was easily dealt with by Chigozie Agbim, who put up a more composed performance throughout the game.
Enyimba's Ede and Kano Pillars' Rabiu Ali also came close to putting Nigeria in front, but Ali's effort from long range railed out of touch while Ede failed to connect with Egwuekwe's shot.
Uzoenyi opened the scoring with his first international goal for Nigeria in the 22nd minute of the game. The Enugu Rangers winger swept the ball past Moneeb Josephs after being set up by Enyimba's Ifeanyi Ede, who led Nigeria's attack.
Nigeria continued to look comfortable after the goal, as South Africa struggled in their search for an equaliser.
The South Africans' hopes of coming back into the game were dampened when Nigeria were awarded a penalty after Gbolahan Salami was brought down inside the box by Josephs. The resulting spotkick was converted by Ede in the 32nd minute, to double Nigeria's lead going into the break.
Upon resumption of the second half, Nigeria continued to dominate the game with Ede leading the rampage for the Super Eagles.
The South Africans continued to press in vain for a goal with Parker coming close in the 58th minute, but Agbim dealt with the threat effectively.
Uzoenyi scored again with an impressive finish in the 62nd minute to seal the win for Nigeria. Although South Africa pulled a goal back later in the game through Parker after Uzochukwu conceded a penalty.