Home Sport Revenge not the motive for Bafana ahead of Super Eagles clash

Revenge not the motive for Bafana ahead of Super Eagles clash

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The SA vs Nigeria antagonism has run deep ever since Mzansi was readmitted to international football in the early nineties.

South Africa’s head coach Hugo Broos attends a training session at the Lycee Classique stadium in Abidjan on February 9, 2024. File Picture: Sia KAMBOU, AFP

Herman Gibbs

REVENGE will be furthest from the minds of Bafana Bafana when they run out against Nigeria’s Super Eagles in a 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifier on Friday at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, the host country’s capital.

Ahead of Friday’s clash, South African footie fans will be reminded of the last time these traditional rivals met. The SA vs Nigeria antagonism has run deep ever since Mzansi was readmitted to international football in the early nineties.

At the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in February, the Super Eagles defeated the 1996 champions Bafana Bafana 4-2 on penalties to reach the final. Friday will be a good time for the South Africans to avenge that defeat.

However, national team coach Hugo Broos said at Monday’s presser in Dobsonville, Soweto, that the team will not be bent on revenge on Friday.

“We just want a good result in the game against Nigeria because it is a qualifier for the World Cup,” said the Belgian tactician.

“We don’t want to think about revenge, we don’t think about whatever. It is a different game. Losing the game should not be a disaster because after these two games (against Nigeria and Zimbabwe) we still have six games to play.

“I would rather not have a defeat in Nigeria. We know all about them, and they know all about us. I think they will not start the game with the same mentality as they did for Afcon.

“They know now how strong we are. I think we have to use that and also use our status – we’re third in Afcon.

“We must stay humble. We must not think we are strong enough now. We still have to work hard and fight.”

Broos was forced to call up Kaizer Chiefs defender Given Msimango after Sundowns fullback Grant Kekana was laid low by an injury sustained in the Nedbank Cup final against Orlando Pirates in Mbombela on Saturday.

“These are two important games and we decided to free Kekana. We replaced him with Given Msimango from Kaizer Chiefs,” said Broos.

“There is no problem (with Sundowns defender) Khuliso Mudau because everybody knows what happens in the final on Saturday. After the medical check yesterday evening, the team doctor and the player gave me the good news.

“The injury is not that bad and he will be ready. Also trained earlier today for the game on Friday.

“There are little problems with Teboho Mokoena, Aubrey Modiba, Bathusi Aubaas and Ronwen Williams but nothing to worry about; it will give us no problem for the game on Friday.”

The news coming out of Nigeria on Monday is that Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa believes South Africa will have revenge on their minds in their qualifying fixture.

“The game against South Africa is going to be tough because we eliminated them in the semifinal of the Africa Cup of Nations,” said Musa.

“And our Super Falcons also eliminated their women’s team from the Olympics so they will come for revenge because they will not want us to eliminate them from the World Cup, too.

“But we are playing at home so we don’t have to panic, we just have to give our best and do what we know how to do best on the pitch.”

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