Bafana Bafana

Bafana take on their nemesis

2013-08-12 11:30
Gordon Igesund (Gallo)
Durban - The 19th edition of the Nelson Mandela Challenge sees South Africa take on reigning African champions Nigeria at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday.

Kick-off is at 20:15.
 
In the first of two matches this week in honour of the great Madiba - SA will also take on Burkina Faso on the inaugural Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day at FNB Stadium on Saturday - Gordon Igesund’s side will have the massive challenge of trying to put one over 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winners Nigeria.
 
The Super Eagles claimed their third continental title earlier this year, defeating Burkina Faso in the AFCON final at FNB Stadium. Returning the country of their recent triumph will bring back good memories for coach Stephen Keshi and his side.
 
Nigeria also have predominantly good memories of playing against Bafana Bafana, with the West Africans very much the dominant team in the rivalry. In seven meetings of the sides down the years, the Super Eagles boast five wins compared to just one for SA.
 
However, the good news for Igesund and his side is that Bafana’s lone win against Nigeria was in the Nelson Mandela Challenge back in 2004. On that occasion, South Africa won 2-1 in Johannesburg.
 
It is the second successive year in which Bafana are taking on the reigning African champions for the Mandela Challenge: Last year SA lost 1-0 to Zambia at FNB Stadium, with PSL-based striker Collins Mbesuma scoring the goal.
 
Overall, Bafana have recorded seven wins, four draws and seven losses in 18 previous Nelson Mandela Challenge matches. Their last win was over Norway (2-1) in the 2009 edition.
 
Igesund has had some disruptions in his preparation, having lost SuperSport United players Innocent Mdledle and Bennett Chenene (Marc van Heerden of AmaZulu has been drafted into the squad) over the weekend, while he also earlier allowed the release of six Orlando Pirates players due to the club’s busy schedule which next sees them participate in the CAF Champions League over the coming weekend.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  gordon igesund  |  soccer
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