Tactical battle as Super Eagles play S.A’s Bafana

Wednesday July 10 2019

Iwobi (L) of Nigeria will want to his tally whereas Baf

Iwobi (L) of Nigeria will want to his tally whereas Bafana Bafana’s Percy Tau will look to dominate the game from the midfield. PHotOS BY JOHN BATANUDDE 

By Fredrick Musisi Kiyingi

2.02 3.10 4.60

Cairo-The battle between Nigeria Super Eagles and South Africa Bafana Bafana at the Cairo International Stadium tonight is expected to be a tough one.

Both teams are buoyed by their respective Round of 16 victories on Saturday.

Nigeria sent the defending champions; the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon tumbling 3-2 in Alexandria and hours later Bafana Bafana sent the hosts Pharaohs packing with a 1-0 win at the National Stadium.

Mourinho’s take
The Bafana Bafana side has been described as being patient, disciplined and well-organised side by Jose Mourinho.

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has appealed to his players to repeat a similar performance if they are to advance for the semis for the first time since 1998 when they went all the way before losing 2-0 to Egypt in the final.


But the English tactician fell short of revealing whether he will use the same tactics of pressing high up the field to cut supply to Nigeria’s wingers - a strategy that worked so well against the Egyptians. “Different matches present different challenges, let us wait for the match,” he said after Egypt match. The South Africans have found the goals hard to come scoring only two in four matches by Percy Tau against Namibia and Thembinkosi Lorch, who netted against Egypt. The two are expected to start up front.

Ighalo on mission
The Super Eagles’ German coach Gernot Rohr has down-played the hype surrounding the team but he can’t do the same to his striker Odion Ighalo, who has scored three goals in four matches to go top of the scorers chart with Senegal’s Sadio Mane.
Ighalo is on a mission to break Rashid Yekini record of five goals in a single tournament he set in 1994 when Nigeria lifted the trophy.

His combination with Alex Iwobi and Ahmed Musa has brought smiles to the team’s followers. Nigeria decided to prepare for the clash in Alexandria which is a bit cooler than Cairo. A win for either side will set a semi-final clash against Algeria/ Ivory Coast on Sunday. In the other last eight tie today, Senegal play Benin at the 30 June Stadium, Cairo.
Meanwhile, Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will come into play for the first time in this edition.

*Nigeria have won three of their last four
matches (Afcon).
*Nigeria have won their last two matches
against South Africa (Afcon).
*South Africa have lost fpur of their last
seven matches (Afcon).
* Four of the previous five games between
Nigeria and South Africa ended without a
winner. S. Africa managed to win the other.

Today’s fixtures - LAST 8
Senegal vs. Benin
(SS7, 7pm LIVE)
Nigeria vs. South Africa
(SS4/7, 10pm LIVE)
Head-to –Head
Nigeria 6 wins
Draw 5
South Africa 2 wins