Three key battles of Nigeria vs South Africa

If you think about a game that is of high magnitude, then Nigeria vs South Africa in the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations is most certainly up there.

The Super Eagles (Nigeria) are coming into this game as overwhelming favourites as they have been dominating in all the games that they have played. Not to mention, they still have arguably the best striker in the African continent Victor Osimhen at their disposal.

However, the underdog tag is ridding high on South Africa right now as they seem to prove many people wrong and just keep winning even when all hope is lost. SA are carrying the hope and energy needed to spear through into the semis against a tough Nigeria.

So, we’ve decided to look at three key battles that the match can be potentially won or lost in the Nigeria vs South Africa game:

Ronwen Williams vs Ademola Lookman


With Victor Osimhen a doubt heading into the game, the shoulders of responsibility will once again fall on Ademola Lookman. He was the man who proved to be the difference against Angola in the quarter finals. He has been one of the standout players for the Super Eagles scoring three goals and providing one assist in the five appearances.

The man who against all the odds kept SA in title contention, Ronwen Williams will once again need to be at his best should they reach the final. The Mamelodi Sundowns shot stopper was the star of the show against the Blue Sharks, tipping Benchimol’s shot onto the crossbar in second half stoppage time before saving four penalties in the shootout to book Bafana Bafana’s place in the last four.


Alex Iwobi vs Teboho Mokoena


The man who lifted everyone off their seats with a sublime freekick for SA, Teboho Mokoena is proving to be a real danger man in Bafana Bafana’s midfield. As his playing stock rises after every game, his controlling the midfield does remind you a lot of the glory days of Dr Khumalo, Mark Fish and other Bafana Bafana legends who don the jersey. Teboho will need to be at his best for his team as he faces a competitive midfield which has a wealth of experience at the top level in Europe.

The man who has been one of their best performers in the green and white of Nigeria, Alex Iwobi is having a great tournament thus far. The Fulham attacker has enjoyed his outing for the Super Eagles as he has been adding zest and speed to the midfield. The coach will count more on Iwobi for more attacking flair in order to break down the Bafana defences as we approach the Semi-final on Wednesday.

William Troost-Ekong vs Percy Tau


The man who is not only experienced but to a certain extent carrying the hopes and dreams for South Africa. Percy Tau is a man on a mission to deliver silverware for SA. Currently playing club football in Egypt, Percy will need to be at his attacking best if he wants to get his team on the front foot. With just his one goal in the competition, hopefully he’ll look to add more goals to his arsenal.

A man who has been leading his team in true style, William Troost-Ekong has been a brick wall for Nigeria thus far in the tournament. Often the one who leads by example, he will again have his hands full trying to marshals the defence as Bafana Bafana’s attacking weapons will be on the charge come semi-final stage.