Rangers International of Enugu coach, Gbenga Ogunbote has added another angle about rivalry as a major talking point heading into Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final fixture between Nigeria and South Afirca, as he says the Super Eagles have a score to settle with Bafana Bafana.
Ogunbote took his mind back to the AFCON 2019 qualifiers’ first match, when Bafana beat Nigeria 2-0 in Uyo, which dented Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr’s previous unbeaten run of games, and he is now of a view that it will be a huge motivational force for the three-time champions.
While acknowledging that South Africa should also be respected at champions in 1996 and runners-up the following year in Burkina Faso, plus the fact that they sent hosts Egypt packing from the ongoing championship, Ogunbote said it will be a tough game on Wednesday.
He added during Mega Sports on Star 101.5 FM, Lagos that the game is now up to the Eagles’ players and their coaches, who, knowing fully that victory will take them into the semi-finals, will give verything they have to end the day at Cairo International Stadium as the victorious side.
The ex-Shooting Stars of Ibadan, Sunshine Stars of Akure and Enyimba of Aba handler, however, enthused that playing South Africa would be a lot more comfrotable for the Eagles thabn it could have been were they to get Egypt as their opponents in the quarter-finals.
Ogunbote posited: “I am sure the Super Eagles will be more comfortable for Wedneday’s quarter-final match, because it is against a familiar foe.
“They will be more comfortable playing South Africa than it would have been against Egypt, because we know trhem very well.
“They also know us well, from previous matches between both teams, which means we have a score to settle with them.
“I don’t have too much to tell them, because they know that a win will take them to the semi-finals, and closer to the cup.
“This match is for them. So, we don’t have much to tell them. The coach should also know what to do to ensure the team wins.”