After qualifying together for the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations from the same group, time has come for Nigeria and South Africa to rekindle their rivalry once again when they face each other tonight (Wednesday, 10 July 2019) at 21h00 SA time at the Cairo International Stadium, with a place in the final four at stake.
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter named his team Wednesday afternoon. They are:
Coach Baxter has named his starting 11 for the match against Nigeria tonight: Kick off 21h00: Ronwen Williams(G), Thamsanqa Mkhize, Sfiso Hlanti, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Thulani Hlatshwayo (C), Dean Furman, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Bongani Zungu, Thembinkosi Lorch, Percy Tau, Lebo Mothiba
Both sides were drawn in the same qualifying group, with South Africa shocking their hosts Nigeria at home 2-0. They had a 1-1 draw in Johannesburg on their way to the finals together.
If you’re in South Africa, watch the action tonight on Showmax (click on image):
Four years before, then title holders Nigeria missed the chance of defending their title when they were eliminated from the qualifiers group that also had South Africa as their rivals. Two draws (0-0 and 2-2) saw Bafana Bafana topping the group, and heading to Equatorial Guinea for the final tournament with Congo; Nigeria finished third.
But the finals themselves look deviant to the Super Eagles, who emerged victorious in the previous two encounters that gathered both teams in AFCON history.
At home in 2000, co-hosts Nigeria reached the final defeating South Africa 2-0 in Lagos, before finishing as runner-ups to eventual champions Cameroon. Four years later in Monastir, Tunisia the Super Eagles had an astounding 4-0 over South Africa in the group stage.
We have to remain very humble. We won’t be overconfident going to the game against Nigeria; one of the powerhouses in the continent. We played well against them before but we should know this is a totally different match. We are looking forward to this game, and hopefully we will be mentally and physically ready. Beating Egypt, the host nation and among that crowd was massive, but we worked and we did it. We can do the same again against Nigeria. One game doesn’t make us the favorites, but we go to every game with a chance to win. We are respecting Nigeria but we are not fearing them.
Bafana Bafana’s goalkeeper, Ronwen Williams (Goalkeeper, South Africa):
Our performance at first wasn’t satisfying and we knew we could play better. We worked hard every day and we needed our people support. In football you never know what will happen tomorrow. The positive criticism we had pushed us to move forward and here we are. We worked very hard and we know we could be better. As you saw in the last game (against Egypt) we were much better. So far, so good.