Friday, March 1, 2024

Nigeria Vs South Africa: Facts And Figures

Nigeria and South Africa are set to face off in the semi-finals of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, with the match poised to be a showdown of historic proportions. Ahead of this highly anticipated encounter, here are the key facts and figures:

  1. Head-to-Head History: This marks the fourth meeting between Nigeria and South Africa at the AFCON, with the Super Eagles emerging victorious in all three previous encounters, outscoring the Bafana Bafana 8-1.
  2. Previous Semi-Final Encounter: Nigeria and South Africa last clashed in the AFCON semi-finals in 2000, with the Super Eagles securing a 2-0 win courtesy of a brace from Tijani Babangida.
  3. Semi-Final Records: Nigeria holds the record for the most appearances in AFCON semi-finals, making their 15th appearance in this stage. However, they have only progressed from one of their last six semi-final matches, winning the tournament in 2013.
  4. Defensive Dominance: Nigeria enters the semi-final with an impressive defensive record, having kept clean sheets in their last four AFCON games. They aim to achieve five consecutive clean sheets for the first time since March 1982.
  5. South Africa’s Semi-Final Journey: South Africa is appearing in their fourth AFCON semi-final and their first since 2000, where they were previously eliminated by Nigeria.
  6. Solid Defensive Streak: South Africa boasts a remarkable defensive run, having kept four consecutive clean sheets in the tournament, a feat they had not achieved in their previous 21 AFCON matches combined.
  7. Goal Scoring Dynamics: Nigeria has relied on a select few goal scorers in AFCON 2023, with only three different players finding the back of the net. This marks their lowest tally since 2008.
  8. Attacking Prowess of South Africa: South Africa has showcased their attacking intent, recording six shots following high turnovers, the second-highest in the tournament. They have also displayed a penchant for direct attacks, ranking among the top teams in this regard.
  9. Osimhen’s Goal Drought: Despite leading the charts for most shots attempted, Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen has struggled to convert chances, with only one goal to his name. He faces the challenge of overcoming his underperformance in front of goal.
  10. Nigeria’s Offensive Prowess: Nigeria boasts the highest expected goals tally and the most big chances created in AFCON 2023, highlighting their attacking prowess and efficiency in the final third.
  11. Key Player Impact: South Africa’s Themba Zwane has been instrumental, contributing to 50% of his team’s goals in AFCON 2023. He aims to emulate Shaun Bartlett’s feat by becoming the first Bafana Bafana player since 2000 to score three goals in a single edition of the tournament.

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