Bafana Bafana bowed out of the Africa Cup of Nations following a 2-1 defeat to Nigeria in Cairo on Wednesday night.
Bafana coach Stuart Baxter named the same side that defeated Egypt in the last 16, while Jamalu Collins and Samuel Chukwueze returned to the Nigeria line-up following their win over Cameroon.
Inside the opening minutes, Bafana struggled to get in to rhythm though they managed to get a shot in from the far side through Thembinkosi Lorch after some good work by Percy Tau in the build-up.
The Nigerians, who enjoyed loads of possession, grabbed the lead on 27 minutes after Chukwueze burst through the defence to slot past Ronwen Williams after the ball deflected off Sifiso Hlanti and fell kindly into the winger’s path.
In search of the equaliser, Bafana threw bodies forward but the Nigerian defence had everything on lockdown, while Bafana’s attempted long balls were thwarted at every attempt.
The woes almost worsened for Bafana in the last three minutes to halftime when Chukwueze looked for his brace from the near side, but Dean Furman’s block saved the day.
Bafana were sparred a second two minutes in to the second half after Williams tipped Oghenekaro Etebo’s free-kick onto the top of the crossbar.
Bafana introduced the evening’s first substitution on 58 minutes, with Themba Zwane replacing Lorch. The change seemed to do work in their favour, with the Nigerians pinned in to their own half by a number of yellow shirts.
Bafana levelled matters after Bongani Zungu headed into the far corner from a free-kick by Percy Tau in the final 20 minutes, with the VAR team approving the strike.
In shock, Nigeria introduced their first change on 80 minutes with Moses Simon coming on for Ahmed Musa.
The Super Eagles restored their advantage after William Troost-Ekong barged in to the area to tap home from a corner after 89 minutes to send his side to the last four.