Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr hopes his side will put an end to Bafana Bafana clean-sheet streak in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series and will also seek to avenge their only defeat to African opposition in his reign.
Rohr is relishing coming up against Bafana and has noted the motivating factors ahead of the much-anticipated clash at the FNB Stadium.
Super Eagles arrived in Johannesburg in the early hours of Friday morning, much to the discontent of the German tactician as he redirected questions on the reasons for late arrival to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“This question you have to ask to NFF. It was not my desire to come so late and to spend all night on the plane, with a stopover in Luanda,” bemoaned Rohr during his interaction with the media.
“So, yes, we wanted to come here earlier, but you know sometimes it’s not the coach who can decide. We have to accept the decision of the federation.”
However, Rohr insists that the Eagles are fired up for the encounter as they seek to revenge for their 2-0 opening round defeat in Uyo in June last year.
“We’ve been waiting for this match for one and a half years, and it’s a long time but it is still on our minds. We would like to get a better result now,” he said.
“South Africa are under pressure because if they don’t win, they are not guaranteed qualification. Their last game is depending, of course, on Libya – who has a good team too.”
Another particular point the former Burkina Faso, Niger and Gabon mentor is looking to exploit is Bafana’s record of having yet to concede in four games in the campaign thus far.
“I’ve noted South Africa haven’t conceded any goals, so we would like to be the first team to score a goal against them,” he added.
“We’re coming here not to play for a draw, which could be enough already for us to qualify, but to try and win. We have wonderful conditions to play in, so the players will enjoy it.”
Rohr also downplays the absence of several Eagles’ key players, including top goal scorer Odion Ighalo, and is confident those called up to replace them will get the job done.
“We have the youngest team in Africa at the moment – even younger now because some experienced players are not here,” said the 65-year-old.
“We are missing four important players – the goalkeeper; our best goal scorer, one of our best midfielders [Wilfred] Ndidi and Shehu [Abdullahi] the right-back is not here.
“But I think the other players will do well and we have a good chance to make a good match.”