JOHANNESBURG – Nigerian coach Gernot Rohr believes South Africa will qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon after Bafana Bafana and the Super Eagles played to a 1-1 draw at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Nigeria booked their plane tickets to the Afcon finals with the stalemate, but Stuart Baxter’s Bafana need at least a draw from their final match against Libya to make it through.
“If South Africa play the way they did against us today, they will go through. I think they will be with us in Cameroon,” said Rohr.
Nigeria missed out on the previous Afcon tournament in Gabon, but have booked their spot with a match to spare this time around.
The four-time African champions can still be passed by South Africa or Libya, but cannot end lower than second in group E.
South Africa beat the Super Eagles when the two nations met in the first round in Nigeria in June last year, but had to fight back this time to get a single point.
Libya kept the pressure on Bafana on Saturday by thrashing Seychelles 8-1.
Rohr had great respect for the South Africans after the battle, and singled out forward Percy Tau as the key to Bafana’s success.
The Nigerian coach, however, also had words of caution for SA before the match against Libya.
“It will not be an easy game. Libya are a very difficult team to beat at home,” he warned.
The former captain of Nigeria, Joseph Yebo, also singled out Tau for special praise after the stalemate. “Tau gave the Super Eagles lots of problems. It was a tough game in difficult weather conditions for Nigeria.
“The important thing is that the team got the job done and qualified for Morocco,” he said.
All eyes will now be on Bafana and Libya when the final group matches are played in March next year.
African News Agency (ANA)