2019 AFCON Qualifiers: Full Preview of Bafana - Super Eagles tie

We’ve seen in recent times that fixtures pitting these two teams are never goal-shy and this one appears to be no exception.
This game certainly has all the ingredients to become a thriller and I believe quality football will be the main course of the day
— Siphosethu Thwala, FirstTouch Africa

We are getting to the pinnacle of the AFCON qualifiers and there is still a possibility of seeing your national team being knocked out. Down south, it's a big one: South Africa’s Bafana Bafana take on the Super Eagles of Nigeria. The two sides are battling it out for the top spot and this game might well be considered a six-pointer as a win for either side will clinch their qualification for Cameroon 2019. Last November, Bafana Bafana broke their duck against Nigeria when they beat the Super Eagles 2-0 courtesy of strikes from Tokelo Rantie and Percy Tau during the team’s first match of the 2019 AFCON qualifiers. It is therefore a game of nothing but revenge from the Super Eagles’ point of view.

The South Africa team form a huddle prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group A match between France and South Africa at the Free State Stadium on June 22, 2010 in Mangaung/Bloemfontein, South Africa.  (June 21, 2010 - Source: Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe)

The South Africa team form a huddle prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group A match between France and South Africa at the Free State Stadium on June 22, 2010 in Mangaung/Bloemfontein, South Africa.

(June 21, 2010 - Source: Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe)

That said, both sides have massive talent that can take the game by its horn. On one end Bafana Bafana boast an enterprising attacking talent from the likes of the evergreen Percy Tau, the magnificent Lebo Mothiba who’s been grabbing headlines in France, and also the ever-reliable Itumeleng Khune manning the poles at the back. However, the Nigerian are not to be outdone as they boast amazing talent as well, with the likes of Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho, although they might feel the setback of the absence of one of their reliable servants, Odion Ighalo who is ruled out with injury.


Most fans will be on the lookout for the crispy partnership between Tau and Mothiba of which many South African supporters will be hoping is on fire on the day in order to cause havoc for the Nigerian defense. Additionally, the return of South Africa’s prodigal son Thulani Serero, who's been given a lifeline by coach Stuart Baxter, might also be a talking point in this game. The danger of Mothiba cannot be easily ignored as the 22-year-old Strasbourg centre-forward has already bagged three goals in his first four caps for Bafana Bafana, quite a start.

Nigeria players warm up prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Nigeria and Argentina at Saint Petersburg Stadium on June 26, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  (June 25, 2018 - Source: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe)

Nigeria players warm up prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Nigeria and Argentina at Saint Petersburg Stadium on June 26, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

(June 25, 2018 - Source: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe)


From a defensive standpoint, it might be a busy day for Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune especially considering the incentive that have been put on the table for the Super Eagles. To give you context, the Nigerian players have been given a R360,000 incentive for every goal they score against Bafana Bafana. Such an incentive might well set the tone and fire up the Super Eagles to attack Bafana with all they have. If you ask me, this might turn out to be a cracker of a game. We’ve seen in recent times that fixtures pitting these two teams are never goal-shy and this one appears to be no exception.


This game certainly has all the ingredients to become a thriller and I believe quality football will be the main course of the day. Be sure not to miss out on this one. Will Gernot Rohr’s men emerge victorious? Or will Bafana pull a double over the Nigerians? Who’s your pick for this one?