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[PREVIEW] Nigeria, South Africa Clash In Repeat Of AFCON 2000 Semis

South Africa and Nigeria have a long history of rivalry, spanning 14 matches. The Super Eagles, do, however, enjoy the lion's share of wins.


President Tinubu Honours Super Eagles With MON Merit
Nigeria’s players celebrate scoring their team’s first goal during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2024 quarter-final football match between Nigeria and Angola at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on February 2, 2024. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP)

 

Nigeria are up against bitter foes South Africa for a place in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in what is a repeat of the semi-final clash between both sides 24 years ago.

The Super Eagles won that game 2-0 as co-hosts of the 2000 tournament, needing a brace from Tijani Babangida to seal a final tie with Cameroon – which they lost on penalties.

But two decades later, the Bafana Bafana are eyeing revenge against Nigeria when both sides square off on Wednesday evening in Cote d’Ivoire.

Since that semi-final triumph, Nigeria have defeated South Africa twice in the competition. The first was a 4-0 spanking in a group stage match in the 2004 edition before seeing them off five years ago in Egypt in 2019.

En route to Wednesday’s game, Coach Hugo Broos tutored South Africa got out of the group stage with four points. But they have grown into the competition, winning tournament favourites Morocco in the round of 16 before squeezing through giant killers Cape Verde.

For Nigeria, the story is almost similar except that they have not lost a match in Cote d’Ivoire. Written off before kickoff, the Super Eagles reached the knockouts after bagging seven points. They later dispatched rivals Cameroon and Angola in the quarter-final to make the last four.

READ ALSO: [VIDEO] Oliseh, Babangida Optimistic Of Nigeria’s Chances Against South Africa

Head To Head: Nigeria Have Bragging Rights

Wednesday’s match adds to the long history of rivalry between South Africa and Nigeria, spanning 14 matches. The Super Eagles, do, however, enjoy the lion’s share of wins. They have seven victories against Bafana Bafana’s two. Five of those games have ended in stalemates though.

Team News For Nigeria Vs South Africa

Although brimming with attacking talents, Nigeria faced a major scare heading into the showdown with South Africa. Star striker Victor Osimhen was only allowed to join the team in Bouake earlier on Tuesday after the medical team placed him on observation. He is though declared fit for the encounter.

Nigeria Vs South Africa AFCON Game Time

 

The Super Eagles of Nigeria’s game with South Africa at the 2023 AFCON is on Wednesday, February 6, 2024, by 6:00 pm (Nigeria time) at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake.