SUPER Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr and former skipper Chief Segun Odegbami have both tipped South Africa’s Bafana Bafana as favourites to win the African Cup of Nations quarter final clash between both teams taking place tomorrow.
After dramatic wins for both sides in the Round of 16 over the weekend, Nigeria and South Africa face each other tomorrow at the Cairo International Stadium. Nigeria came from behind to beat defending champions Cameroon 3-2, while South Africa secured a shock 1-0 victory over hosts and favourites Egypt, to set up the mouth-watering quarter final clash.
Mr Rohr explained that Bafana Bafana coached by Stuart Baxter, is currently the favourite side to win the Cup of nations after their heroics against the hosts. Chief Odegbami, who is working as an analyst at the tournament concurred, saying that although the South African side did not start this year’s tournament on a good note, they are now doing well.
South Africa only qualified for the knock out stage as the last of the third placed teams in the group stages after suffering losses to Ivory Coast and Morocco in Group D. It took a 1-0 win over minions Namibia for South Africa to scrape through to the group stages but since then, the team has found a new verve and swagger.
Mt Rohr said: “They have quick strikers and wingers and they have the centre forward Lebo Mathiba playing in France with Strasbourg. They have experience in the centre of defence and they were the better team against Egypt and when you’re a better team than Egypt, you become the favourite of the tournament because everybody said they were number one.
”They beat Egypt in Egypt so they are now the favourite number one. We are not the favourite against South Africa because they beat Egypt in Cairo at the International Stadium in front of 75,000 people and you must be very strong to do that.”
Chief Odegbami added: “South Africa are the most dangerous. They didn’t start well but now they are doing well, so, Nigeria have to be very, very careful against them because once we can get rid of them, we will bring the cup back home.”