17 January 2014

South Africa/Nigeria: We Are Not Expecting Favours From Anybody - Mere

Photo: 2010 FIFA OC
Bafana fans

Bafana Bafana defender Vuyo Mere says they are in a good position to proceed to the quarterfinals of the 2014 CHAN tournament at the expense of Nigeria.

The two nations meet in a crucial clash with both needing points to advance to the last eight - a draw or a win will see South Africa through while the Super Eagles need an outright win.

The match takes place on Sunday, 19 January 2014 at the Cape Town Stadium. Kick-off is at 19h00.

"It is going to be a tough one, but the good thing is that it is in our hands and we are not expecting any favours from anybody. We are facing a team that also wants to proceed to the next round. They are a good side but we are more than ready and we have prepared well. The technical team is coming up with every weapon we are going to need on Sunday, so we will be ready for them," said the Platinum Stars captain.

"We have done our homework as players. We watched their games and have seen their weaknesses and strengths but we should not just dwell on those. We know that given a chance they will bury their chances when they get them. As a defence we have to work extra hard to stop them from getting goals because our strikers will also be working hard to score at the other end. We all have to take the responsibility to take the team forward."

Fellow defender Buhle Mkhwanazi, who has played in the heart of defence in the past matches against Mozambique and Mali, echoed his words.

"Without doubt it is going to be a difficult one because they need all three points just as much as we need them. Even though they started slowly, they are becoming stronger with each game and I think for us to win everyone has to come to the party, but I believe we will come out tops," said Mkhwanazi.

The Tuks defender believes South Africa's current position give them an advantage.

"Being on top of the group is a confidence booster and shows we are doing something right. We started well and I do not see us losing this match and our aim is to maintain our position at the top of the group. Nigeria plays a similar style of football that we play, so I am confident we can match them. They are also a bit physical but having played Mali we are ready for that kind of battle," added Mkhwanazi.

"The last time we played them we lost 1-0 in Durban in the Nelson Mandela Challenge. But history does not count much in this match because it is a different set of players all together. We have to go there with the belief that we can win and we will. I will be happy if I see us in the final, and with the quality players we have I do not doubt we can get there, but it is one game at a time."

Mali and Mozambique clash in the other Group A match, which will be played at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town. Kick-off is also at 19:00.

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