SA aim to make history in Nigeria

2014-11-19 00:00

BAFANA Bafana have safely arrived in Uyo, Nigeria, ahead of their last Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Nigeria.

After a five-and-a-half hour flight from Johannesburg to Uyo, Bafana took an hour’s bus drive to their hotel.

The players had a short pool session yesterday morning before their final training session at the match venue last night.

Despite having already qualified for the Afcon 2015 tournament, South Africa still have 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 play Nigeria,” said Bafana captain and midfielder Dean Furman.

“It’s going to be a tough game and they will fight for their lives in an effort to qualify. But, we want to fight for our nation, for fans, and for ourselves.

“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,” said Furman.

“We want to send a good, 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 prove it against Nigeria.”

Asked how important it would be to beat Nigeria, Furman said: “It would be massive to beat Nigeria in Nigeria. People keep mentioning that we haven’t defeated them for a while, but records are there to be broken.”

SA are 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 today.

“It’s been great to go to some of the places we have played. There have been hostile atmospheres and an artificial pitch, plus we were rocked by the death of our captain, Senzo Meyiwa,” said Furman.

“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.”

The match will be televised on SS4 from 6 pm.

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