• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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2026 World Cup Qualifier: Bafana Bafana eye upset against Super Eagles

Bafana Bafana

Bafana Bafana of South Africa are determined to stage an upset against the Super Eagles of Nigeria in a crucial 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Friday in Uyo.

The Group C World Cup qualifier will take place at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium tomorrow night (9 PM SA time). After their match against Nigeria, Bafana will return home to host Zimbabwe at Free State Stadium on Tuesday.

Bafana Bafana’s coach, Hugo Broos, has encouraged his team to approach the game with confidence, noting that the Super Eagles will not underestimate them.

Drawing confidence from their last encounter at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast earlier this year, where they held Nigeria to a 1-1 draw before losing on penalties in the semifinals, Broos believes his team can rise to the occasion.

Bafana ended that tournament with a bronze medal after defeating the Democratic Republic of Congo on penalties in the third-place playoff.

“Nigeria were finalists at the 2023 AFCON and they have players who are playing in the best competitions in Europe, but we saw what we can do against them at AFCON. If we had a little bit of luck, we would have beaten them and gone to the final. I think we were the best team in the semifinals, so we don’t need to be afraid of Nigeria,” Broos said.

“We know all about them but they also know all about us. I think they will not start the game with the same mentality they had at the 2023 AFCON because they know how strong we are.”

After two rounds of fixtures in Group C, Bafana are second with three points, one behind leaders Rwanda. South Africa beat Benin at home last November but were stunned by Rwanda away. Broos is targeting at least four points from the upcoming matches against Nigeria and Zimbabwe to keep their World Cup hope alive.

“We want to win both games but if that doesn’t happen, we must at least get four points to keep our qualifying hopes alive,” Broos noted.