No apologies! It’s my opinion….Super Eagles will demolish South Africa in the quarterfinal fixture of the ongoing Egypt 2019 AFCON….Reasons are not far fetched.
One, whether we like it or not, the Egyptian football public will never forgive this South African team for sending them out of a tournament they are hosting. They (Egyptians) would do anything to frustrate the Boys from the Rainbow country including supporting their next opponents (Nigeria) in the next fixture. This is a huge advantage for Super Eagles. They must not fail to cash on it.
Two, Eagles would not want to lose to another team from the southern axis of the continent in this tournament having lost in their last game of the group stage disgracefully to Madagascar. Eagles must be prepared to use South Africa as a payback tool for the 2-0 defeat by Madagascar. It is a possibility.
Three, Super Eagles BIG BOYS are gradually finding their rhythm in the tournament. Like we would say, they are coming to the party….and anytime this phenomenon occurs or manifests in a tournament, the team discovers it’s killer instinct. Recall that the big boys went to sleep in Russia 2018 ….and we all know the outcome. But in Egypt so far, the big boys are encouraging the younger players. Odion Ighalo is topping the scorers chat in the tournament with three goals. Kenneth Omeruo came from the defence line to score the only goal that gave the team three points against Guinea….and Alex Iwobi has not disappointed either….The form of these players including vice captain Ahmed Musa and Winifred Ndidi if jerked up against South Africa will surely turn Bafana Bafana into Banana Banana.
Four, Eagles will rely on information from their first choice goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi who plies his trade in South Africa to get better knowledge of their opponents aside what they already know of the team in the course of this tournament. Akpeyi should bisect the Bafana Bafana to Gernot Rohr and the rest of the gang.
Five, South Africa will still be basking in the euphoria of their giant killing strides over Egypt when Super Eagles fixture comes calling. They will approach the quarterfinal tie with too much of confidence which will eventually be their greatest undoing especially against a Super Eagles side gradually discovering it’s potential.
Six, Super Eagles will shore up their confidence knowing that the pre-tournament title contenders like Egypt are out thus paving way for a determined team to clinch the trophy. This singular factor is expected to propel few stronger sides remaining in the tournament like Super Eagles to go for the kill against any opponent including South Africa.
Seven, no team in its right frame of mind will bank on record or tradition anymore in this tournament especially against a perceived weak team given the ouster of Morocco and Egypt. But if record should be followed in this fixture then, Bafana Bafana stand no chance against Super Eagles.
By Desmond Ekwueme