AFCON 2019 Preview: Nigeria VS South Africa

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria continue their quest to be crowned African champions for the fourth time against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the quarterfinals of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The teams will play at the Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday at 8:00 pm.

Nigeria qualified for the last eight, following a hard-fought win over reigning African champions Cameroon with a 3-2 victory.

While South Africa dumped host nation Egypt out of the competition, after a 1-0 win in front of about 75,000 fans.

Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr is expected to start the same XI that beat Cameroon in the thrilling last-16 contest in Alexandria on Saturday.

The Super Eagles

Nigeria’s Super Eagles have not been totally impressive in the tournament. Although they won two of their group stage matches against Burundi and Guinea by a goal each and lost their final group game to Madagascar by 2-0.

Similarly, South Africa’s Bafana Bafana struggled through the group stage. The win against Egypt has been the brightest spot in their campaign.

Can South Africa continue their shock run in this competition when they meet Nigeria? They are looking to follow up their impressive win over Egypt.

The Stuart Baxter’s side qualified out of Group D as best losers with a win over Namibia, after losing two group matches against Ivory Coast and Morocco by a lone goal each.

Bafana Bafana

However, both Rohr and Baxter know that their teams have to do better if they will advance to the semi-final.

“We are here to win. It is not going to be an easy match, but surely if you have to win the Africa Cup, you will not expect to be faced with easy matches at this stage,” Rohr said.

“We know ourselves from the qualifying campaign and it will be no holds–barred on Wednesday. It is not a matter of revenge. it is about reaching the semi-finals.”

South Africa coach Baxter expects a tough game against “powerhouse” Nigeria.

“The Nigerian team is still one of the powerhouses in the continent,” Baxter said.

“We should be under no illusion that Nigeria are one of the best teams on the continent. They are a stable team and this squad has been together for quite a while and it will be a massive but difficult game for us.”

Prediction

Nigeria has won their last two AFCON meetings against South Africa. The Super Eagles won 2-0 and 4-0 at the 2000 and 2004 African Cup of Nations respectively.

The Super Eagles, though, are the team that are favourites to win this one due to their formidable front-line. They have scored five goals in four games, while Bafana Bafana have found the back of the net twice.

 

Follow the game for live updates on www.von.gov.ng