Nigeria/South Africa: Afcon U-20 - South Africa, Flying Eagles Brace Up for Battle Royale

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Soccer ball in a stadium.
5 February 2019

South Africa U-20 male national team head coach, Thabo Senong is bracing for a tactical battle against old Nigeria's Flying Eagles as both sides seek to take a step closer to the semifinals of the ongoing African Under-20 Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Niger Republic, today.

Amajita drew their Group A opener with hosts Niger 1-1 but now face a much tougher opponent in the Nigerians' who breezed to a 2-0 success over Burundi in the other pool match.

"We are in a very tough group' we saw Nigeria had a very good start and won their first match convincingly'" Senong admitted' adding his side had to look at themselves first before the opposition in their second game.

"We have to cut out the mistakes we made against Niger to increase our chances.

"Hopefully we can have a better game. We are playing a very tough team' our players need to be switched on mentally to get a good result."

Amajita were noticeably second-best in the physical contest against Niger on Saturday' unable to handle the power of the west Africans.

Nigeria are from a similar part of the continent' but Senong believes Tuesday's game will be more technical than physical' and will be decided by who uses the ball better.

"It is going to be a technical game' all of Nigeria's players are good on the ball'" he said.

"We are also good on the ball though' so it will be a good match. The team that makes more mistakes will lose the game' so we must focus on limiting ours."

The top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinals' which in turn seals a ticket to the World Cup in Poland in May.

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