Nigeria legend, Austine ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, has backed the Super Eagles to beat the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in tomorrow’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixture at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg.
Both countries will clash for the 14th time with South Africa recording just one win in a competitive game against the Super Eagles.
The highly anticipated match-up has more than just pride at stake this time, with a guaranteed place at next year’s continental finals up for grabs for whoever comes out victorious.
Bafana will take plenty of courage from their previous meeting with the Super Eagles, which they walked away 2-0 victors from in the reverse Group E fixture in Uyo to end a 13-year winless run against the West Africans.
However, Okocha believes that win will serve as motivation for Gernot Rohr’s charges to hit back this time around.
“Records are meant to be broken, and unless you lie to yourself then you won’t accept defeat like that,” Okocha told newsmen.
With Nigeria currently top of the group – one point ahead of Bafana, the former Bundesliga and Premier League star also feels pressure will be higher on the hosts to try and get the points this weekend.
“The previous games have been played but the most important is the next one. Sometimes you might look back to draw motivation going into the next game, which could be key for us going into this one,” Okocha said.
“If we win, that’s our ticket to Cameroon, so the pressure is really more on Bafana Bafana, which makes it also an interesting match to watch.”
South Africa laments possible poor attendance against Eagles tomorrow.
n an effort to push ticket sales for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Nigeria, the South African Football Association (SAFA) have roped in hugely popular hip hop and pop star, AKA.
He will provide pre-match entertainment and the match starts at 3pm local time.
Bafana played in front of a near empty FNB Stadium in their last qualifier match against Seychelles last month and there is a serious risk that Nigerian fans could outnumber South Africans this weekend.
There is a huge Nigeria community in and around Johannesburg who will want to see their national team move a step towards qualifying for the Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year in what promises to be an entertaining affair between the known rivals.
Stadium Management chief executive Jacques Grobbelaar said they are focused on encouraging and getting South Africans from all walks of life to get behind the national football team.
“The match is almost upon us as both Bafana Bafana and Nigeria are preparing for this important match‚” he said.
“Our support for our national teams is just as important. This is a rare occasion where South Africa can come together and show the world the true spirit of the rainbow nation.
“Let’s get behind Bafana Bafana and show them what support really means.”
SMSA said the stadium would open at 11am on Saturday with AKA providing pre-match entertainment from 2.45pm.