Super Eagles vs Bafana Bafana – a historic rivalry renewed

Nigeria’s Super Eagles are poised for a monumental showdown against South Africa's Bafana Bafana in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final clash, set to ignite the Stade de la Paix in Bouake this Wednesday.

With a fortress-like defence that has only been breached once in five matches, the Super Eagles strut into the semifinals with an air of confidence.

Led by the enigmatic Victor Osimhen and bolstered by the dynamic duo of Ademola Lookman and Moses Simon, Nigeria's attack promises to keep South Africa's defense on their toes.

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Photo by Icon Sport

The defensive line, marshalled by veteran defender William Troost-Ekong, stands as formidable as the Eagles have the best defence among the remaining teams in the competition.

With Stanley Nwabali between the sticks and supported by Calvin Bassey, Semi Ajayi, Zaidu Sanusi, and the relentless Olaoluwa Aina, the Super Eagles are ready to thwart any offensive threats from Bafana Bafana.

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Photo by Icon Sport

Super Eagles ahead on FIFA ranking

Ranked 42nd globally and unbeaten in 10 competitive matches over the past year, the Super Eagles are determined to add a fourth Africa Cup of Nations crown to their illustrious history.

In contrast, South Africa's Bafana Bafana, ranked 66th globally, are vying for only their second triumph, having claimed victory on home soil 28 years ago.

The storied rivalry between these two footballing giants dates back to 1992, with memorable clashes etched in the annals of history.

From Richard Owubokiri's goal frenzy in 1992 to Tijani Babangida's heroics in the 2000 AFCON semi-final, each encounter has been marked by sheer passion and drama.

In recent years, Nigeria has maintained its dominance, including a 2-1 victory over South Africa in the 2019 AFCON quarter-finals.

With seasoned players like Ekong and Chukwueze, who scored in that victory still in their ranks, the Super Eagles are poised to extend their reign over the Bafana Bafana.

Nigeria ahead in the Bafana Bafana vs Super Eagles rivalry

Wednesday's game will be the 15th between the two sides, with Nigeria winning seven while South Africa have defeated Nigeria twice, with five draws.

In total. 31 goals have been scored between the two team in matches between them. The Super Eagles have scored 22 goals while South Africa have scored only nine goals against Nigeria at full international level.

The biggest win between the two sides is the 4-0 bashing Nigeria handed to South Africa in October 1992 in a World Cup qualifier, and Nigeria repeated the same scoreline at the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.

All points to a Nigeria victory if history is to be used as a yardstick but football isn't exactly a predictable game.

South Africa will look to bury ghosts of games past by edging Nigeria out and punching their ticket to the final.

Nigeria vs South Africa AFCON 2024
William Troost-Ekong vs Themba Zwane, Photo by Icon Sport

Nigeria vs. South Africa – Head-to-head

  • 10 Oct 1992: Nigeria 4 South Africa 0 (1994 WCq, Lagos)
  • 16 Jan 1993: South Africa 0 Nigeria 0 (1994 WCq, Johannesburg)
  • 10 Feb 2000: Nigeria 2 South Africa 0 (AFCON semi-final, Lagos)
  • 31 Jan 2004: Nigeria 4 South Africa 0 (AFCON finals, Monastir, Tunisia)
  • 17 Nov 2004: South Africa 2 Nigeria 1 (International Friendly, Durban)
  • 1 June 2008: Nigeria 2 South Africa 0 (2010 FIFA WCq, Abuja)
  • 6 Sept 2008: South Africa 0 Nigeria 1 (2010 FIFA WCq, Port Elizabeth)
  • 14 Aug 2013: South Africa 0 Nigeria 2 (International Friendly, Johannesburg)
  • 10 Sept 2014: South Africa 0 Nigeria 0 (2015 AFCON qualifier, Johannesburg)
  • 19 Nov 2014: Nigeria 2 South Africa 2 (2015 AFCON qualifier, Uyo)
  • 29 Mar 2015: South Africa 1 Nigeria 1 (International Friendly, Durban)
  • 10 June 2017: Nigeria 0 South Africa 2 (2019 AFCON qualifier, Uyo)
  • 17 Nov 2018: South Africa 1 Nigeria 1 (2019 AFCON qualifier, Johannesburg)
  • 10 July 2019: Nigeria 2 South Africa 1 (2019 AFCON q-final, Cairo)
Super Eagles vs Bafana Bafana – a historic rivalry renewed
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a seasoned Africa sports journalist, and a former Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 national team. He is widely acknowledged as an authority on the NPFL and African football, Randa is esteemed for his expertise in football content creation. Furthermore, he holds the distinction of being Nigeria's foremost sports kit designer and a trailblazer in the realm of sports graphics in Nigeria.