As the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, semi-final begins, fans eagerly anticipate the clash between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
This encounter promises to be a spectacle of skill, determination, and national pride.
Nigeria and South Africa have a storied history in AFCON competitions.
While Nigeria has historically been a powerhouse, South Africa has showcased resilience, causing upsets.
The Super Eagles have won seven, drawn five and lost two against the Bafana Bafana in their previous meetings.
Current Form and Recent Results:
Super Eagles: Jose Peseiro’s side are yet to lose a game at the AFCON. They have won four and drawn one so far.
Bafana Bafana: Hugo Broos’ side has lost one, drawn one, and won three of their five games in the competition.
However, as the Super Eagles and Bafana Bafana brace for battle on Wednesday evening at Stade Bouaké by 6 pm, the AFCON semi-final promises a captivating spectacle.
The clash of footballing titans and the quest for a coveted spot in the final will undoubtedly keep fans on the edge of their seats.
Speaking to DAILY POST on Monday, Stanley Smart, a Sports Analyst, insisted that the AFCON match between Nigeria and South Africa would be tough.
According to him, the Super Eagles are solid when defending, while the Bafana Bafana are dangerous when they attack their opponent.
“This match is going to be tough. Nigeria are solid when defending, but still need to be more clinical in front of goal,” Smart said.
“South Africa are dangerous when they attack their opponent.
“One thing I like about South Africa is the confidence of their goalkeeper Williams. This guy is good in a penalty shootout.
“We saw how he saved four penalties; it is unbelievable. I fear for Nigeria if they allow the game to get to a penalty shootout.”
Also speaking with DAILY POST, Saheed Afolabi, who works at Clear TV, predicted Nigeria to beat South Africa 3-0.
Afolabi, however, advised Jose Peseiro’s side not to underrate or be complacent against the Bafana Bafana.
“I want to actually advise the Super Eagles not to be complacent in their approach against South Africa and not to underrate South Africa because they are also an experienced side and a former champions of the AFCON,” Afolabi said.
“So they will bring so much to the table against Nigeria and also know that when other countries are playing against Nigeria, there is this kind of approach they bring out to the game, and if you look at the results Nigeria have had so far, you would also know that they are struggling to score more than two goals in a game.
“Either they score one goal or two goals. It has not been an easy tournament at all. It has been a very tough one.
“So, I would advise the Super Eagles players not to underrate the Bafana Bafana. At this stage of the game, you give it your all because the trophy is already in sight.
“So if you win the semi-final, you will already have your two legs in the final. So I just want to urge the Super Eagles players to have faith in themselves, approach the game with top-notch energy and with the right mentality to take up their chances, and we would see the Super Eagles in the final.”
Afolabi added, “My prediction for the game is- I see the Super Eagles defeating the Bafana Bafana by 3-0. I see the right mentality, and I see the players’ morale is very, very high now, and none of them would want to disappoint Nigerians back home.
“So, I expect them to bring up that right mentality and defeat the Bafana Bafana with at least 3-0 to send a strong signal to their final opponent to let them know that we are not here to joke but to take the trophy back to Nigeria,” he stated.