Welcome to Awareness Sports special coverage of the 2019 ANC qualification game in Group E between the RSA and Nigeria. We will continue to update you all throughout the day on all pre and post game developments as we are on the ground here in Johannesburg.
Game Time: 14.00 Nigerian (WAT) or 15.00 South African Time (CAT)
Venue: FNB Stadium aka Soccer City Johannesburg
Game Time Conditions: WEATHER AT THE FNB STADIUM
Tickets: Seats in all sections still available
TV: Nigeria DStv RSA Blackout
Ref: Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
Preamble: Nigeria has lost only once to the RSA in all active competitions and lead the group by one point. Yet in their last four encounters, Nigeria has not been able to beat the RSA and actually lost, at home to the southern Africans. South Africa meanwhile trail the Nigerians by one point but have yet to concede one goal throughout the entire qualifications.
The Odds as per BetKing Nigeria:
All that is needed is a win in Johannesburg at odds of (3.90) and the three-time African champions are at next summer’s finals in Cameroon. A stalemate can’t be written off in this game which is why the same firm is placing odds of (3.05) for that to happen. Gernot Rohr’s men might have fallen to Bafana Bafana in the reverse fixture but that is their only loss to Stuart Baxter’s side in all meetings. The West Africans did not have their strongest squad on the occasion but with the situation much different now, they do look good to avoid losing at the FNB Stadium at odds of (1.68).
LIVE UPDATES BELOW
SOUTH AFRICA 1 NIGERIA 1 FULL TIME
Own Goal - 9th minute
Mothiba - 25th minute
Post - 6 93rd minute and the ref ends the game. He has had a horrible game disallowing not one but two valid Nigerian goals and the RSA should be very happy to have escaped with a draw.
Post - 5 2nd half is underway. Despite a strong start by Nigeria, they tapered off in terms of production. South Africa had more of the ball at 51%, but are very lucky to have had Ahmed Musa's valid goal disallowed. Iheanacho has been a huge disappointment so far.
Post 4 - With the sun hitting all these plastic seats and its rays bouncing off them, the temperature now on the field is 35 degrees which means its slightly hotter than in Kano presently. Both teams have been out to warm up and of course, they were met with cheers. Ahmed Musa was especially warmly celebrated as he will be the Eagles Captain today. Except for the heat, everything is set for this clash of the Titans. The pitch looks arguably the best we have seen in a long while in Africa. It's a carpet of luscious green. The Nigerians fans are knee deep and yes before you ask, they have refused to stop drumming. The teams are now filing out..... it's about to rumble.
Post 3 - Okay we are finally in the Stadium and the mood is festive. It is however not as packed as one would expect with less than two hours to go. The South Africans gave out 10,000 complimentary tickets and as of this morning had sold circa 14,000...yet the stadium doesn't have those numbers. Uyo stadium is just as good as this one except that the infrastructure surrounding FNB actually works from light to train schedule. The Nigerian fans have already started drumming.....
Post 2 - It's just after noon here in Johannesburg and its 'burning up' here. Burning with anticipation of the big game just a few hours away, and burning up due to the supposed heat wave that has gripped the city in the last couple of days. To put it into better context, while it is 34°C in Kano, 31°C in Abuja and 29°C in Lagos it is also 31°C in Johannesburg. So the 'heatwave' is the exact same thing people are experiencing in mid-November in Abuja. Bearing this in mind, one has to feel sorry for any southern African that ventures to Nigeria in the middle of summer. The journey to the stadium has started and the fans are eager to share their predictions. As expected the Nigerians are confident of winning, and so are the South Africans. However many are also predicting a draw.
Post 1 - Its early in the day but already there is excitement in the air. Fans are already sporting the colours of their favourite teams as they prepare for the trek to the FNB Stadium. The Vuvuzelas are out, but so are the Nigerian talking drums.