On Matchday 1 of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying series, South Africa won 2-0 with goals from Tokelo Rantie and Percy Tau right inside the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, as Coach Gernot Rohr sent out a young, inexperienced Nigerian squad.
However, that slap (the first ever loss to South Africa in a competitive match) stirred the formidable spirit in the Eagles and they swept all before them to earn a 2018 FIFA World Cup ticket with a match to spare.
The Super Eagles will face South Africa in the day5 of AFCON qualifying series and coach Rohr says the loss in Uyo was a “special one”.
“The match against South Africa in Uyi was a special one. It was the Summer break and I missed my key players,” Rohr recalled while speaking at a Press Conference attended by Footballlive.ng
“We had a very young team, now the situation is different because of the World Cup experience. This is my only loss to an African team since I took over as the Super Eagles coach in 2016.
Table–toppers Nigeria actually need just one point from Saturday’s encounter inside the FNB Stadium in Soweto, outside Johannesburg, to be sure of a slot at next year’s continental house party, but a combination of national pride, assumed rivalry between both teams and commitment to avenging a stinging defeat by the Bafana Bafana in Uyo 17 months ago has adorned this match with a totally different garb.