As the anticipation intensifies for the highly-anticipated AFCON semi-final clash between Bafana Bafana and Nigeria, former Orlando Pirates defender Tonic Chabalala has injected a dose of optimism into the Bafana Bafana camp.
Chabalala has offered his perspective on the upcoming match, highlighting specific strengths that he believes can propel Bafana to victory.
South Africa reached the AFCON semi-finals following a 2-1 win on penalties against Cape Verde on Saturday, as Ronwen Williams saved four penalties. The game had ended goalless after extra time as SA booked a last-four spot for the first time in 24 years.
As a result, all eyes will be on the Stade de la Paix Stadium in Bouake on Wednesday evening as Bafana Bafana will be looking to win the AFCON for the second time and replicate the late Clive Barker’s SA side of 1996. The very much-anticipated clash will kick off at 19:00.
Noting the history between the two teams, Hugo Broos’ troops head into this titanic encounter as the underdogs.
In 14 played matches, the Super Eagles have won seven games, with SA registering only two wins, while they have shared the spoils five times.
TONIC CHABALALA TIPS SA TO BE TOO STRONG FOR NIGERIA
According to Chabalala’s analysis, the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts are massive favourites to overcome the Super Eagles, who beat Angola in the quarter-finals.
Chabalala believes his country’s current crop of stars are capable of earning a second continental title, considering how they have been playing in the previous games.
“Firstly, the confidence and the consistency of our boys are too high. Their performances speak volume,” Chabalala told FARPost.
“We are too strong when it comes to ball rotation compared to Nigeria. And that is because our players know each other. Having more than eight Sundowns players in our team gives us a big advantage because they play what they know.
“Our players know each other because they play in the same league. It’s a huge advantage for us because it makes everything easy when it comes to combination.
“SA players know African football better than those of Nigeria. Most of them have been playing CAF Champions League, so I see us winning this match. So, if you are one of those who play betting, I would advise you to give SA a straight win. Nigeria won’t beat us, looking at how we have been playing lately.”
By Clifton Mabasa