Bafana Bafana: Will South Africa’s travel woes prove costly against Nigeria?

Hugo Broos ‘ men had to contend with a long trip to Uyo which could affect performance 

Bafana Bafana finally arrived in Uyo, Nigeria on Thursday after what was thought to be a short trip lasted over 20 hours.

South Africa experienced a flight delay when their chartered plane arrived in Nigeria way behind schedule and they were forced to spend the night in Port Harcourt as they could not fly to Uyo since the airport had already closed. 

That saw them travel to Uyo on Thursday, and not Wednesday as initially planned, and having hoped to get a feel of the match venue a bit earlier, they had to train late in the evening ahead of Friday’s match. 

Percy Tau was quick to allay any fears over the travel woes 

That obviously messed up coach Hugo Broos’ plans as the extra hours of preparations would have been beneficial to his team.

Star forward Percy Tau was quick to allay any fears that the travel woes might have had on them. 

“I do not think it will affect us, we are looking forward to the game. We are an experienced team and some of us play in CAF so we experience such situations and it is not a topic in the team, the topic is how well can we train and get ready for tomorrow [Friday],” Tau told the press on Thursday. 

Broos will have to contend with some tired legs 

However, while Tau is keeping a braze face, the over 20-hour journey is not something South Africa had hoped for. If anything, it was the reason SAFA opted for a chartered plane to avoid unnecessary delays with the view to having seamless preparations.

It means Broos will have to contend with some tired legs owing to jetlag and late preparations which could prove costly in what is expected to be a physical encounter.

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Joel Oliver

Joel Oliver is a seasoned multimedia sports journalist with a rich background in covering diverse football stories and events in South Africa and beyond.

His extensive coverage spans subjects touching on the PSL, with a focus on the Big Three (Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs & Mamelodi Sundowns), Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana.