Nigeria will look to bounce back from a disappointing defeat in midweek when they lock horns with a buoyant South African side in an international friendly at the Mbombela stadium on Sunday.
Kick-off is at 3:30pm.
The Super Eagles suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Uganda in an international friendly in Uyo on Wednesday night courtesy of a 81st minute striker from Miya Faruku, and will be looking to bounce back against Bafana Bafana.
The South African side, though, came into this game high in confidence after goals from Thulani Hlatshwayo, debutant Thabo Mnyamane and Mandla Masango handed them a 3-1 win over Swaziland at the Somhlolo Stadium in Mbabane on Wednesday evening.
Nigerian midfielder John Ogu admits his side is not in the best form at the moment, but they will be looking to prove a point against South Africa on Sunday.
“We as a team are lacking confidence and not in the right shape after we failed to qualify for the last Afcon,” said Ogu.
“We hope to redeem ourselves in South Africa after we lost to Uganda on Wednesday.
“It will not be easy, but we ar confident we can bounce back.”
If statistics are anything to go by then Nigeria certainly have the upper hand as they have won seven of their 11 official meetings over the years.
Bafana have a mountain to climb, having only beaten the Super Eagles once in their history while the other three matches have ended in draws.
Their last outing against each other was as recent as the November 2014 and saw the two countries play to a 2-2 draw in a second leg Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo which was preceded by a 0-0 draw in Cape Town – the result seeing Bafana through to the tournament on the away goals rule.
Speaking ahead of the game, Bafana midfielder Ayanda Patosi said he is confident his side can get one over the Super Eagles on Sunday.
“If you look closely at the matches in the 2015 qualifiers, we played very well against Nigeria,” said Patosi.
“We actually dominated in some stages and were on the brink of victory, but could not finish them off.
“We have to beat them this time because we had so many chances in our last two matches against them.
“I was in Cape Town watching the match and was very impressed by our players. This time I am part of the team and would like nothing but victory over them.”
WHAT THEY SAID
“There is history between the two nations and a great rivalry. In our recent matches against Nigeria we drew in both matches. In the second qualifier we came close to securing a victory. The players are hungry but we need supporters to pack Mbombela and really make it difficult for them,” Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba.
“The Nigeria clash is going to be very interesting. You must remember we were the ones who denied them a chance to defend their Afcon title so they will be coming here with guns blazing and wanting to prove a point. But the good thing is that lately we enjoy playing against them, they are very arrogant and that is only because they are confident,” Thulani Hlatshwayo
“South Africa deprived us of appearance at the last Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea and have been improving in leaps and bounds while the reverse is true for the Super Eagles.I believe if we send the Samson Siasia-tutored under-23 side to South Africa we’ll get a better result,” Former Nigerian coach Christian Chukwu
WHAT THE STATS SAY
South Africa v Nigeria – previous meetings
P W D L GF GA
11 1 3 7 5 20
1994 World Cup qualifier, 10/10/1992, Lagos – Nigeria 4-0 South Africa
1994 World Cup qualifier, 16/01/1993, Johannesburg – South Africa 0-0 Nigeria
2000 Afcon second round, 10/02/2000, Lagos – South Africa 0-2 Nigeria
2004 Afcon first round, 31/01/2004, Monastir – Nigeria 4-0 South Africa
2004 Friendly, 17/11/2004, Johannesburg – South Africa 2-1 Nigeria
2010 World Cup/Afcon qualifier, 01/06/2008, Abuja – Nigeria 2-0 South Africa
2010 World Cup/Afcon qualifier, 06/09/2008, Port Elizabeth – South Africa 0-1 Nigeria
2013 Friendly, 14/08/2013, Durban – South Africa 0-2 Nigeria
2014 Chan first round, 19/01/2014, Cape Town – Nigeria 3-1 South Africa
2015 Afcon qualifier, 10/09/2014, Cape Town – South Africa 0-0 Nigeria
2015 Afcon qualifier, 19/11/2014, Uyo – Nigeria 2-2 South Africa