The Super Eagles of Nigeria will take on the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the AFCON 2023 semi-final at the Stade de la Paix in Bouaké.
Former South Africa midfielder, Innocent Linda Buthelezi, has backed Hugo Broos’s men to come out on top when they face the Super Eagles of Nigeria tomorrow, Soccernet.ng reports.
Buthelezi, 54, was a part of the AFCON 1996 winning squad under the late Clive Barker and has urged the current South African team to replicate the success in Ivory Coast.
A defensive midfielder in his playing days, Buthelezi played for Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates, and Kaizer Chiefs and mentioned that there’s a current wave of overconfidence Nigerians have in the team Jose Peseiro assembled.
“You know what I’ve noticed about the Nigerians is that they’ve always felt they are better than us in football. It’s in their nature and they can’t help themselves. I’m quite sure in their minds they just can’t imagine themselves losing to a South African team that doesn’t have a lot of big-name stars,” the 27-time capped South African said in quotes revealed by TimesLive.
Nine out of South Africa’s starting eleven that featured in the game against Cape Verde ply their trade on home soil, and Buthelezi believes their hunger for success will trump whatever Nigeria has to offer.
“They will meet something different in this group of Bafana players. They are hungry for success, and their belief now is quite high compared to when they started their tournament. Our team has a good mixture of players that allows us to compete in the air and play on the ground. Also, Nigerian football is not where it used to be when they had players such as Sunday Oliseh,” he added.
In the AFCON 2023 tournament, South Africa and Nigeria have kept four clean sheets in five games, highlighting the strong defensive attributes of both teams.