South Africa coach Stuart Baxter says he has been working on how to beat Nigeria in their Group E Cameroon 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo on June 10.
Bafana Bafana and the Super Eagles have met 12 times, with Nigeria running out winners seven times and South Africa triumphant once. They settled for draws on four occasions, with 1996 African champions Bafana pulling off a vital draw (2-2) against the Eagles in their Group A 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo on November 19, 2014 to put a final nail in the coffin of Nigeria’s Equatorial Guinea 2015 dreams.
South Africa qualified for the tournament from the group along with Congo while the Eagles missed out on African football’s showpiece championship, which they won for the third time in Johannesburg in 2013.
The Eagles have won all their competitive games since Gernot Rohr replaced Sunday Oliseh as Nigeria’s substantive manager last year.
But Baxter, who is champing at the bit to lead his troops to Uyo, says he is out to end Rohr’s 100 per cent record comprising victories against Zambia (2-1) and Algeria (3-1) in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers as well as a 1-0 defeat of Tanzania in a Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
“I have done some work on the squad (Eagles), their players and I am reading Nigerian newspapers every day to try and find out what they are thinking,” Independent Online quoted the Englishman as saying of the Uyo fixture, which will be his first assignment since he was re-appointed earlier this month. The 63-year-old dumped Bafana in 2005 after failing to lead the Southern Africans to the Germany 2006 World Cup.
“And I want to try and pick a team with a few warriors that can take us to Nigeria and get us a result.”
Baxter remains SuperSport United manager until the end of the season, and the former Kaizer Chiefs coach admits it has not been easy for him.
“I will be honest and say I haven’t had time because of the commitments here at SuperSport and I have had to tell myself that I will take my SuperSport hat off in the next two days and put on my Bafana hat,” he added.