• Friday, February 23, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

AFCON: Can Nigeria’s Super Eagles maintain dominance over South Africa?

Eagles

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will on Wednesday tackle the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the first semi-final match of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) at the Stade de la Paix stadium in Bouake.

Wednesday’s game will be the 15th clash between both countries at full international level. Nigeria have won seven of the previous 14 matches, with five of those matches drawn and two won by South Africa.

The Super Eagles have conceded just one goal at this AFCON and dispatched Angola in a tight game to qualify for the semi-finals.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles have the favourite tag going into Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-final against South Africa in Bouake.

The Super Eagles are ranked 42nd in the world and 12th in Africa as against South Africa’s global ranking of 66th and 12th in the world.

The Super Eagles are unbeaten in 10 competitive matches over the past 10 months and even achieved a rare win in a friendly game when they edged Mozambique in Portugal in October 2023.

Nigeria is aiming for a fourth AFCON title, while South Africa are only aiming for a second triumph after winning the 1996 edition on home soil with Nigeria not participating

Nigeria were stopped from participating by late former military leader Sani Abacha following a spat with President Nelson Mandela over the execution of environmental rights activist Ken Saro Wiwa and some others in November 1995.

The first meeting between both countries was in October 1992 for the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifying match, where Nigeria won 4-0, at the National Stadium, Suriuler, Lagos thanks to goals from Richard Owubokiri and the late Rashidi Yekini. The return leg at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg ended goalless.

Nigeria also spanked South Africa 2-0 in the semi-finals of the 2000 AFCON they co-hosted with Ghana, with Tijani Babangida scoring both goals.

South Africa fell 4-0 to Nigeria in a group phase match of 2004 AFCON in Tunisia.

Four years ago, in the AFCON quarter-finals, the Super Eagles edged Bafana Bafana 2-1 in Cairo, with the goals scored by Samuel Chukwueze and William Ekong. Both players will be in Bouake with Ekong to lead the squad on the field and Chukwueze likely to play some part in the proceedings.

Nigeria vs South Africa Stats

. October 10, 1992: Nigeria 4 South Africa 0 (1994 World Cup Qualifier, Lagos)

. January 16, 1993: South Africa 0 Nigeria 0 (1994 World Cup Qualifier, Johannesburg)

. February 10, 2000: Nigeria 2 South Africa 0 (AFCON semi-final, Lagos)

. January 31, 2004: Nigeria 4 South Africa 0 (AFCON finals, Monastir, Tunisia)

. November 17, 2004: South Africa 2 Nigeria 1 (International Friendly, Durban)

. June 1, 2008: Nigeria 2 South Africa 0 (2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Abuja)

. September 6, 2008: South Africa 0 Nigeria 1 (2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Port Elizabeth)

. August 14, 2013: South Africa 0 Nigeria 2 (International Friendly, Johannesburg)

. September 10, 2014: South Africa 0 Nigeria 0 (2015 AFCON qualifier, Johannesburg)

. November 19, 2014: Nigeria 2 South Africa 2 (2015 AFCON qualifier, Uyo)

. March 29 2015: South Africa 1 Nigeria 1 (International Friendly, Durban)

. June 10, 2017: Nigeria 0 South Africa 2 (2019 AFCON qualifier, Uyo)

. November 17, 2018: South Africa 1 Nigeria 1 (2019 AFCON qualifier, Johannesburg)

. July 10, 2019: Nigeria 2 South Africa 1 (2019 AFCON quarter-final, Cairo)