Home » International, Latest, PSL » International Friendly Preview: South Africa vs Nigeria

Nigeria are set for participate in the Nelson Mandela Challenge for the second time when they face South Africa in Durban on Wednesday.

The charity match has been held once a year since 1994, and has extra poignancy this time around due to the former South African president’s ill health.

Nigeria last featured in the 2004 edition of the fixture and suffered a 2-1 loss in Johannesburg, but they will be confident of turning the tables in 2013.

Prior to losses at the hands of Copa America holders Uruguay and world champions Spain in the FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winners had avoided defeat for 19-straight games.

South Africa, meanwhile, have alternated between victory and defeat in their last four fixtures, and come into this game locked in a difficult battle for FIFA World Cup qualification.

Gordon Igesund’s men sit second behind Ethiopia in their group, while Nigeria are dominating theirs by contrast and look a good bet to make a fifth World Cup finals in Brazil.

South Africa last hosted Nigeria in a World Cup qualifying match in September 2008 that the visitors won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Ikechukwu Uche.

The Villarreal forward is a notable absentee from a squad that boasts Victor Obinna as its biggest goal threat – the 26-year-old having scored 11 goals in 44 international appearances.

The hosts saw their chances hit by the withdrawal of a number of Orlando Pirates players, with the Premier Soccer League outfit currently preparing for a vital CAF Champions League clash with Egypt’s Zamalek.

Experienced heads such as Siphiwe Tshabalala and Reneilwe Letsholonyane are present, though, and will be expected to make a big impact at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

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