South Africa and Nigeria will renew their rivalry when the teams meet for a crunch Group E 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, set for the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday, 17 November 2018, kick-off at 15h00 CAT.
Nigeria comes into the game as the leaders of the group, with a haul of nine points from four matches. South Africa are just one point behind in second place, Libya a further four points back in third and the Seychelles (one point) complete the quartet.
The Super Eagles took a major stride toward qualifying for their 18th AFCON (and a first since winning the 2013 tournament) with back-to-back wins over Libya through the October international window.
The West African giants won 4-0 at home in the first match (with a hat-trick from Odion Ighalo, whose six goals thus far make him the leading scorer in the qualifiers) and then twice came from behind to beat the North Africans 3-2 in the return.
South Africa claimed just four points from their two matches against minnows Seychelles. Bafana Bafana racked up a 6-0 home win (a record victory for the national team), but the return game in Victoria ended in a disappointing draw and allowed Nigeria to assume top spot in the group.
Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr has expressed confidence that his team can pick up a positive result in Johannesburg – even though they will be missing several key players due to injury or suspension, such as Francis Uzoho, Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi, John Obi Mikel and Ighalo.
Bafana Bafana’s Stuart Baxter will look to in-form forwards Percy Tau and Dino Ndlovu to carry an attacking threat, while veteran goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune will be a key man as the last line of defence.
SA v Nigeria – Head-to-Head
South Africa and Nigeria have met in 13 previous matches according to FIFA’s statistics database. The Super Eagles have claimed seven wins compared to two for Bafana Bafana, while four games have been drawn.
The teams’ most recent meeting was in the first round of group stage qualifiers back in June 2017, with South Africa claiming a surprise 2-0 victory in Uyo, thanks to goals from Tau and Tokelo Rantie. It was Bafana’s first-ever competitive win over the West African heavyweights.
Matches played 13
SA wins 2
Nigeria wins 7
Last five results (most recent first)