South Africa head coach, Hugo Broos, has warned Nigeria’s Super Eagles that the current Bafana Bafana players are different from the ones they dominated in past encounters.
Nigeria and South Africa will square off in the 2023 AFCON semi-finals on Wednesday in Bouake.
This is the fourth time the two teams will cross paths at the AFCON with Nigeria winning the three previous matches.
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The last time both sides met was in the quarter-finals of the 2019 AFCON.
In 14 past encounters, the Eagles have won seven to South Africa’s two with five draws between them.
Broos is aware that his team will go into the match as underdogs but has fired a stern warning to the Nigerian team.
“Yes, we know and understand who we are up against,” Broos said in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday. “We know the might of this team and that their players play all over Europe.
“We also know that last time in an AFCON what the result was, but this time it’s different. It’s different players, a different team and a different AFCON. Anything is possible.”
The Belgian coach revealed that they will be without one of their midfielders Thapelo Maseko, who suffered a hamstring injury.
“Sadly due to the third-degree tear (hamstring), Maseko is out for the rest of the tournament,” the AFCON 2017 winning coach with Cameroon said.
“But he remains with us till the end. We will not replace the player with another due to time (Visas and the travel time to get to Cote d’Ivoire at short notice), so we will continue the tournament with the squad we have.”
After conceding in their opening games, Nigeria and South Africa have kept four consecutive clean sheets.
While Jose Peseiro’s men edged Angola 1-0 in the quarter-finals, South Africa beat Cape Verde 2-1 on penalties after regulation time ended 0-0.