- Set for revenge mission against Bafana Bafana
By Jawolusi ‘Segun @olujawolusi
AFCON 2019 Qualifiers
Nigeria Vs South Africa
Saturday 10th June 2017
Venue-Nest of Champions Stadium, Uyo
Live-on Super Sports 9
With the qualifiers for the African Cup of Nations scheduled to take place in Cameroon kicking off this weekend, Nigeria faces a rejuvenated Bafana Bafana of South Africa after missing out on the last two editions.
The Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2015 and 2017 editions which took place in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon respectively.
The Nigerians will be looking forward to start on a strong footing to restore confidence in their teeming supporters who they had let down on the last two occasions.
The South Africans on their part will be looking for a first win in a competitive match over their perennial nemesis, Nigeria. Since 1992, the two countries had met nine times with the Super Eagles coming out victorious on six occasions while the remaining three ended in draws.
With the Super Eagles looking forward to qualify for the nations Cup finals for the first time since winning it in 2013 in South Africa, the match promised to be an explosive one as the Nigerian players are determined to right the wrongs of the past two qualifiers.
Nigeria will be missing captain Mikel Obi who is recuperating presently, but stand in captainOgeyi Onazi knew the enormous task ahead of the team as he declared:
“This time, we must restore our pride and make sure we get the three points off them on Saturday.
“Nigerians do not forgive losers easily and it is our responsibility to make the country proud whenever we are in action.”
This combined with the fact that the Bafana Bafana contributed to the outsted of the then defending champions in 2015 edition qualifiers will see the Nigerians going on full throttle in Uyo.
That fact is not lost to the Trabzonspor midfielder who saw the match as an avenue to avenge the event of 2014.
“We do not want to forget that South Africa partly contributed to us not going to the 2015 Cup of Nations.”.
The South Africans were forced by the Super Eagles to a 2-2 draw on a Wednesday afternoon in November 2014 at the same venue where the two teams will be meeting later today thus finishing out of their group’s top two automatic qualification spots with eight points – a total that also put them out of the running to be the best third-placed team.
Enroute to losing out of the race for the 2017 competition, the fate of the Nigerian side was decided with a match at hand as they lost to the Pharaohs of Egypt by a lone goal. The result saw the Egyptians opening up an unassailable five point gap between them and the Nigerian side.
NIGERIA RECENT GAMES
Sun 09/10/16 World Cup Qualifier Zambia 1 – 2 Nigeria
Sat 12/11/16 World Cup Qualifier Nigeria 3 – 1 Algeria
Thu 23/03/17 Friendly Nigeria 1 – 1 Senegal
Thu 01/06/17 Friendly Nigeria 3 – 0 Togo
SOUTH AFRICA RECENT GAMES
Tue 11/10/16 Friendly South Africa 1 – 1 Ghana
Sat 12/11/16 World Cup Qualifier South Africa 2 – 1 Senegal
Tue 15/11/16 Friendly Mozambique 1 – 1 South Africa
Sat 25/03/17 Friendly South Africa 3 – 1 Guinea-Bissau
Tue 28/03/17 Friendly South Africa 0 – 0 Angola
10 Oct 1992: Nigeria 4 – 0 South Africa (World Cup Qualifier)
16 Jan 1993: South Africa 0 – 0 Nigeria (World Cup Qualifier)
10 Feb 2000: Nigeria 2 – 0 South Africa (AFCON semi final)
31 Jan 2004: South Africa 0 – 4 Nigeria (AFCON group stage)
17 Nov 2004: South Africa 2 – 1 Nigeria (Mandela Challenge)
1 June 2008: Nigeria 2 – 0 South Africa (World Cup Qualifier)
6 Sep 2008: South Africa 0 – 1 Nigeria (World Cup Qual.)
11 Aug 2013: South Africa 0 – 2 Nigeria (Mandela Challenge)
19 Jan 2014: South Africa 1 – 3 Nigeria (CHAN group stage)
10 Sept 2014: South Africa 0 – 0 Nigeria (AFCON Qualifier)
19 Nov 2014: Nigeria 2 – 2 South Africa (AFCON Qualifier)
29 Mar 2015: South Africa 1 – 1 Nigeria (Friendly)