The South African Football Association has confirmed that the Bafana Bafana delegation will fly into Lagos on Wednesday and then immediately connect a flight to Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital where they will renew their rivalry with the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium also known as the nest of Champions for a slot in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Although the Bafana Bafana have never beaten the Super Eagles in a competitive game, Nigerians would remember that a 2-2 draw at the same venue between both teams in November 2014 meant the Super Eagles missed the cut for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Tokelo Rantie scored both goals for Bafana Bafana, before left –sided midfielder Sone Aluko also replied with a brace – something that is a usual occurrence in matches between the Super Eagles and the Bafana Bafana.
Before Rantie and Aluko, Rashidi Yekini (of blessed memory), pacy wingers Tijani Babangida and Osaze Odemwingie and forwards Uche Nwofor and Ejike Uzoenyi had bagged braces in matches between both nations at senior level.
Midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, who will lead out the Super Eagles on Saturday in the absence of recuperating captain Mikel John Obi, toldthenff.com on Tuesday: “It is a big game, and we are one for the big occasion.
“I have confidence in the group that we have now and the ambition oozing in the camp. We want to go to the World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations. Starting well on Saturday will be key to our aspiration.”
Winger Ahmed Musa, who netted a brace in a 3-0 defeat of Togo in a friendly in Paris on Thursday, alongside defender Kenneth Omeruo and newly –wed wing back Elderson Echiejile were the only squad members given until Tuesday to arrive camp.
Nigeria’s army on Saturday will include former junior international Kelechi Iheanacho, who has scored in seven of his last eight matches for the Super Eagles, as well as record scorer in the FIFA U17 World Cup, Victor Osimhen. There are also this season’s top scorer in the Austrian Bundesliga, Olanrewaju Kayode, the pacy Moses Simon and the nimble –footed Alex Iwobi.
The last outing between both teams was a friendly match at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit two years ago, which ended 1-1. Ahmed Musa scored a late goal in a game in which Daniel Akpeyi (likely to start in goal for Nigeria on Saturday) saved a penalty, but there was still time for the Bafana Bafana to draw level.