Bafana captain: Why we lost to Nigeria

After being eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations by Nigeria, Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo has explained why he thinks he and the rest of Stuart Baxter's charges failed to get the better of the Super Eagles.

South Africa pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the tournament with their last-16 victory over Mohamed Salah's Egypt, but could not replicate that result at the Cairo International Stadium, suffering a 2-1 defeat to Gernot Rohr's side, who clinched their ninth semi-final berth in the past 10 Afcons.

Read: Furman on Bafana Afcon exit

Hlatshwayo has since weighed in on his side's exit from the tournament, giving an honest assessment of their performance against the three-time Afcon winners.

"First half, we didn't play according to our strengths," the national team captain said in post-match comments, as per footballghana.

"We didn't play the way we started against Egypt and we looked flat. We rectified it in the second half as the coach spoke about it and we spoke about it as players because a good team is sometimes a team that coaches itself.

"We came back strong but unfortunately conceded soft goals, and the kind that we work hard in training to avoid. We always work on set-pieces too.

"Obviously, it's difficult to exit the competition in this way, having conceded in the last minute, especially after we improved after the break, but we needed to play long balls at the end because we were chasing the win."

Nigeria will face the winner of the quarter-final clash between Algeria and Ivory Coast in the semi-finals.