3 Nigerian stars Bafana need to keep a close eye on

Alex Iwobi (Gallo Images)
Alex Iwobi (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarter-final clash between Bafana Bafana and Nigeria, Sport24 looks at 3 players Stuart Baxter's charges need to be wary of.

Bafana Bafana proved their naysayers wrong with an emphatic victory over host nation Egypt on Saturday courtesy of an 85-minute Thembinkosi Lorch strike.

The Super Eagles shook off their slow start in AFCON with a strong 3-2 win over defending champions Cameroon in their last 16 clash.

South Africa and Nigeria will meet on Wednesday looking for a place in the semi-finals.

Kick-off is at 21:00 (SA time).

Here are the THREE players Bafana Bafana need to keep a close eye on:

Alex Iwobi

The Arsenal forward had a decent 2018/19 season with the London outfit. His blistering pace could prove problematic for the Bafana Bafana back four. He can also create space for the Nigerian full-backs with his smart movement in the final third of the pitch.

To date Iwobi has only netted a single goal, but it was the match-winning strike against Cameroon.

Ahmed Musa

The 26-year-old will be a threat if given enough room to do as he pleases. Like Iwobi, Musa does well in creating space, but also drops deep to collect the ball to start the attack. While Sifiso Hlanti and Thamsanqa Mkhize fared well against Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Trezeguet but the pace of Musa and Iwobi will get the Bafana Bafana’s defenders sweating as well.

Musa has no goals yet in Egypt, but his clever assist to Odion Ighalo was enough to kick-start Nigeria’s comeback against Cameroon.

Odion Ighalo

Joint-top scorer at AFCON along with Cédric Bakambu (Congo DR), Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Adam Ounas (Algeria), the former Watford striker’s three goals have helped the Super Eagles to the knockout stages. The experienced 30-year-old looks to be getting better as the tournament progresses and is out to guide Nigeria to a fourth AFCON crown.

The tall forward will be a difficult challenge for Thulani Hlatshwayo and Buhle Mkhwanazi as his muscular physique and goal poaching instincts can cause havoc.

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