Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr said his team’s fighting spirit could be the key factor in their quarter-final match against South Africa at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The Super Eagles set a date with Stuart Baxter’s side in the last eight after beating reigning champions Cameroon 3-2 in the Round of 16 on Saturday.
Meanwhile, South Africa defied the odds and shocked host nation Egypt1-0 to advance to the quarter-final.
Ahead of their third meeting on the continental stage, Rohr stated Bafana Bafana are now favourites for the Afcon title but his team will fight for victory at the Cairo International Stadium.
“When you beat a good team of Egypt in these circumstances you will be full of confidence,” Rohr said in his pre-match press conference.
“When you beat the favourites, you are favourites yourself. We also had a good game against Cameroon and I expect a good match.
“The strength of our team is the fighting spirit. We are confident despite it is not going to be easy and for me, they are the favourites.
“I don’t play mind games but I’m realistic. South Africa had a good game against Egypt, they played here and know the city and stadium, but I think we will be ready.
“We have mental strength that we have shown against Cameroon, and my team is more mature now. We are highly motivated and we need to find a good strategy. It is a match between two organized teams that know each other well.”
Both sides met during qualifying for the tournament with South Africa defeating Gernot Rohr’s men 2-0 in Uyo in 2017 and then earning a 1-1 draw in Johannesburg last November.