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Nigeria are three-time winners of the Africa Cup of Nations - last winning it in 2013 The race for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations title is heating up as the teams have dropped to eight. At the Cairo International Stadium, South Africa and Nigeria will lock horns in search of a semi-final place and possibly the chance to re-write their names in the history books. Will South Africa continue their fairy-tale run against the Super Eagles? Will the 2013 AFCON winners put a stop to the Bafana Bafana hype? What is the kick-off time? The match will start at exactly 19:00 GMT. The two teams recent form South Africa did not have a good start to the campaign, losing to the Ivory Coast and Morocco by a lone goal each. They did, however, grab a 1-0 win over Namibia to finish third in Group D and secure a place in the round of 16 as one of the third best-placed teams. South Africa stun Bafana Bafana faced a daunting task of getting past the hosts in the early knockout round and made no mistake, scoring one unanswered goal to stun the Egyptian fans. Nigeria started well in Group B, beating Burundi and Guinea by a goal each to qualify for the knockout round fairly easily at second place. They were however shocked by debutante Madagascar in their final group game, losing by two goals to nil. The Super Eagles made amends in the round of 16 by beating defending champions Cameroon 3-2. The head to head record Nigeria will go into this encounter with confidence as they have a better record against South Africa in the main competition. The Super Eagles beat Bafana Bafana by two goals to nil in one of the semi-final fixtures in the 2000 AFCON edition. They then demolished their upcoming opponents 4-0 four years later in a group stage clash. Team News: Who is available, injured or suspended? Gernot Rohr currently has a squad without any suspensions and a clean bill of health, a big boost for their title aspirations. Baxter also has the luxury of players to choose from, as no one is currently injured and Themba Zwane is back from suspension. Potential Starting XI’s Nigeria: Daniel Akpeyi, Chidozie Awaziem, Kenneth Omeruo, William Ekong, Temitayo Aina, Peter Etebo, Wilfred Ndidi, Moses Simon, Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa, Odion Ighalo South Africa: Rowen Williams, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Thamsanqa Mkhize, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Sifiso Hlanti, Bongani Zungu, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Dean Furman, Lebo Mothiba, Percy Tau, Thembinkosi Lorch MATCH FACTS Nigeria have got to semi-final stage or further in 14 of their 17 appearances at the Africa Cup of Nations including 11 of the last 12. Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo was the top goalscorer in 2019 AFCON qualifying, scoring seven goals. He is also one of the top scorers in this AFCON with three goals. South Africa are participating in their 10th Africa Cup of Nations, appearing in the final in both of their first two editions in 1996 and 1998, winning it on their debut. South Africa remained unbeaten in the 2019 AFCON qualifying campaign (3 wins, 3 draws), scoring 11 goals and conceding just twice. They managed to keep a clean sheet each of their opening four qualifying matches. Story Written By : Ewauh Kewku Prince (August Rush Pynce Mehra )
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