Bafana Bafana have safely arrived in Uyo, Nigeria ahead of their last CAF Orange Cup of Nations Equatorial Guinea 2015 qualifier against Nigeria.
The clash will take place on Wednesday, 19 November at the Ibom International Stadium in Akwa Ibom State. Kick-off is 18h00 local time in Nigeria (19h00 SA time).
After a five-and-half hour flight from Johannesburg to Uyo, Bafana Bafana took an hour’s bus drive to their hotel.
The players had a short pool session on Tuesday morning and will have their final training session at the match venue in the evening.
Despite having already qualified for the AFCON 2015 tournament, South Africa still has the hunger to do well.
“It’s a huge game, having qualified doesn’t change anything for us, it has major significance every time we go play Nigeria. It’s going to be a tough game, they will fight for their lives in an effort to qualify. But we want to fight for our nation, for fans, and for ourselves, beyond that we want to maintain our unbeaten record in this group and it’s important that we finish in a positive way,” said midfielder Dean Furman.
“No one needs any motivation for this match. We know we are playing African champions, so what more motivation does one need than to defeat the champs and that’s what we will keep in our heads. We want to send a good and strong message to the rest of the continent that we are a strong side going into the tournament and there is no better way than to do it against Nigeria.”
Asked how important it would be to beat Nigeria, this is what Furman had to say.
“It would be massive to beat Nigeria in Nigeria. People keep mentioning that we haven’t defeated them in so long, but records are there to be broken. We would also like to thank the nation for their support, they have been the driving force and we can repay them by beating Nigeria tomorrow night.”
South Africa is top of Group A with 11 points. Nigeria and Congo are second and third tied at seven points while Sudan is on three. After five matches, all teams play the final qualifier on Wednesday.
“It’s been great to go to some of the places we have gone to, some of the hostile atmosphere or when the pitch was not what we are used to like artificial pitch, the death of the our captain Senzo.
“It’s been an up and down last few months but we have remained focused as a team. We know we have a job to do and it’s great that we have come through without defeat and we are in a really positive mood at the moment,” concluded Furman.