'The South Africans don’t scare us‚' says Nigeria captain Ahmed Musa

15 November 2018 - 09:36 By Nick Said
Nigeria's forward Ahmed Musa controls the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26, 2018.
Nigeria's forward Ahmed Musa controls the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26, 2018.
Image: GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

Nigeria will board a bus for a two-hour journey to Benin City for a chartered flight to Johannesburg on Thursday ahead of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against South Africa at the weekend‚ with captain Ahmed Musa saying Bafana Bafana hold no fear for his side.

The airport at their training base of Asaba does not have the runway length for the team to leave from there‚ so they must make the trip to Benin City‚ but do so in high spirits according to striker Musa.

“The South Africans don’t scare us.

"I can tell you that we are well-prepared.

"It is not going to be a different game.

"We are taking it like every other game that we have played‚” Musa told reporters.

He adds the players are relaxed as‚ needing only a point from their final two qualifiers to secure a berth in the finals in Cameroon next year‚ even a defeat to Bafana would leave them with a home match against Seychelles in which to book their passage.

“We are not under any pressure‚ because we are confident of securing qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

"As a team‚ we are united and play for each other. That is the most important thing in football. We know them very well‚ just as they know us too.”

Nigeria are now at full strength after the late arrival of France-based midfielder Samuel Kalu‚ reportedly because of problems securing a visa for SA.

Coach Gernot Rohr says his side will go out to secure Afcon qualification‚ which does not necessarily mean they will push hard for a win‚ with just a point needed to secure their place in Cameroon.

“Our mission in Johannesburg is simple: qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations. We are not thinking of anything else.

"We want the ticket in our pocket before the final match day‚” he told his association’s website.

The fixture this weekend is part of an intriguing double-header between the two nations‚ for who there is no love lost on the football pitch.

Banyana Banyana will also take on the Super Falcons in the opening match of their African Women’s Championship campaign in Ghana on Sunday.

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