Well, the game against Egypt, ended shockingly, with Bafana eliminating the biggest favorite for winning the Africa Cup of Nations. It is by far the biggest surprise of the tournament, and after that, Stewart Baxter’s boys sure aren’t going to be afraid of the next opponent, which is Nigeria. The Super Eagles fought their way back against Cameroon and defeated the big rival advancing to the quarterfinals after one hell of a battle.
Don’t expect anything less this Wednesday night at Cairo International Stadium.
Nigeria reached the lead against Cameroon but failed to keep it until the halftime. Gernot Rohr’s guys allowed two goals in the last four minutes, and for some teams that would be a devastating blow from which they surely wouldn’t recover. But Super Eagles showed enormous composure and mental strength, using the same medicine to finish the great rival. Ighalo and Iwobi knocked out Cameroon in just three minutes, sending their team into the quarterfinals. This was only the second game in the latest 10 Nigeria played, which ended with over 2.5 goals, and the third with both sides to score. When looking at this tournament, all the previous ones (not counting round of 16) were with under 2.5 goals and with just one side netting. In those matches, Rohr’s team won twice (both times 1-0), and lost against Madagascar 0-2, which was a sensation at the time. But as we said, the mental strength of this unit is superb, and that didn’t leave any traces on their later behavior.
South Africa was more than excellent against Egypt. Great tactics which relied upon counter-attacks, and from one of them, Bafana Bafana stunned the hosts in the 85th minute. We need to say that despite Egypt’s superiority in terms of ball possession, they haven’t been that dominant in other categories. The Pharaohs did have few excellent chances, but the guests had several dangerous themselves. Just a few expected this to happen, but the way South Africa played, they deserved to advance to the next stage. They were well aware of their strengths and flaws and set the tactics according to that. Now, all four matches they played here in Egypt ended with one goal exact, and 10 of the last 12 went under 2.5 scores.
Head to Head
South Africa and Nigeria played in the qualification group for Africa Cup of Nations. Nigeria ended on top of the group having 13 points, while South Africa had one point fewer. But in head-to-head matches, Bafana had a better score and had inflicted Super Eagles their sole defeat in these qualifications. To make it even more interesting, that game took place in Nigeria, ending 0-2 in favor of Baxter’s crew. The rematch concluded with a draw, 1-1. One more fun fact, four of the preceding five events ended without winners.
According to all the bookies, Nigeria is the absolute favorite in this meeting. But we are not going to give any firm suggestions about the final outcome of the event. Our focus will be on efficiency. By examining the recent trends, and adding the importance of the match, the low-scoring game is the ultimate prediction here. Under 2.5 scores is the first and less risky solution, with odds at 0.37 at BetXChange. Still, for some of you punter this won’t be enough, and if you are willing to accept higher risk, go with under 1.5 goals in the entire match. Odds for that one are 1.32.