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Bafana Bafana Coach Sets Timeline to Frustrate Eagles

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Bafana Bafana coach, Stuart Baxter, has identified two key periods in Saturday’s match that he wants his players to pay special attention to.
Sports Village Square gathered that the coach is focusing on the first 20 minutes in which he wants his players to put pressure on the Super Eagles.
That way, he believed the crowd at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium will be silenced. Analysing the past matches of South Africa, he said he discovered the team conceded late goals. He therefore wants the team to show some composure in the critical phases of Saturday’s match.
A report in Timeslive of South Africa reveals that conceding late goals‚ or letting slip a lead‚ has been a feature for the South African team. Some instances were cited.
“They held a 2-0 lead in Uyo in 2014 thanks to Tokelo Rantie’s brace but conceded late goals for a 2-2 draw in an Afcon 2015 qualifier.
“Bafana held a 1-0 lead in a World Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou‚ conceding in the 91th minute for a draw.
“Now‚ in the opening match on the path to Cameroon 2019‚ new coach Baxter has worked on defending a final 10-minute period in the build-up to the match against South Africa’s nemesis team the Super Eagles.
“Yes‚ we’ve spoken about it. I think it’s looking at the clock and you stop playing to a degree‚” Baxter was quoted to have said.
“You start hoping and stop believing. I think we’ve just got to be braver and say‚ ‘Look‚ how do we deal with this game‚ how do we manage it?’
“There are certain things you can do. But what you don’t want to do is just be there on the field and not have a plan. We have dealt (in training) with a situation where we are leading.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) we put on a scenario where we were playing XI v XI in the afternoon and I sent one of the players off. And I said‚ ‘Right‚ you’re leading 1-0‚ what do you do’.
“We’ve approached that and they did it very well yesterday. We’ve approached how we would kill the game off if we were leading‚ and we’ve approached what we would do if we were chasing the game.
“So we’ve got a couple of ‘what if’ scenarios‚ and one of them is that last critical phase.”
Bafana and Nigeria are drawn with Seychelles and Libya in their Afcon qualifying Group E.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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AFCON

BREAKING! Nigeria Football Federation is finished with Finidi

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Following the poor run of the Super Eagles in the on going qualifying series for the 2026 World Cup which has seen the Super Eagles languishing almost at the bottom of a group in which they were previously the favourites, the Nigeria football Federation (NFF) that they has relieved Finidi George as the head coach of the national team.

Rising from a crisis-managing meeting, the NFF announced that it has resolved to employ an expatriate Technical Adviser for the Super Eagles in the coming weeks, ahead of the AFCON qualifiers and the remaining FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.

 The deduction is that the tenure of Finidi George has come to an end after two competitive matches as a substantive coach and two others in friendly matches as a caretaker coach.

Also, the NFF resolved to beef up its Technical Department with more qualitative hands. Equally, the Technical and Development Sub-Committee will be re-jigged with immediate effect.

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AFCON

Struggling Super Eagles to know AFCON 2025 qualifying round opponents in three weeks

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It has not been a pleasant outing so far for the Super Eagles in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. They have another nine months to wait to reset their arsenal.

But while the World Cup qualifying series go on recess, attention now focuses on the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series.

In exactly three weeks’ time, the Super Eagles will know their opponents in the qualification race for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Next year’s finals, which will be the 35th edition of Africa’s flagship football championship, will be staged by Morocco.

Preliminary stage survivors Chad, e-Swatini, Liberia and South Sudan will join 44 others for the draw that will hold at the SuperSport studios in Johannesburg, South Africa in the afternoon of Thursday, 4th July.

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The 48 countries will be drawn into 12 groups of four teams each, with the top two teams in each pool qualifying directly to the finals in Morocco.

The first two games of the qualification series will take place in the FIFA window in September (2nd – 10th), with two other matches in the window in October (7th – 15th) and the final two games in the November window (11th – 19th).

Nigeria’s Super Eagles are the runners up at the last edition.

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Date and venue fixed for draw for Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2025 Qualifiers

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The journey to the  CAF Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2025 will resume with the draw for the Qualifiers on Thursday, 04 July 2024, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The draw will be conducted at SuperSport studios in South Africa at 14h30 local time (15h30 Cairo time, 12h30 GMT).

48 Nations, including the four winners from the preliminary round (Chad, Eswatini, Liberia and South Sudan) will be drawn into 12 Groups of four teams each to battle it out for places at the finals.

Headlining the confirmed Nations for the draw are reigning African champions Cote d’Ivoire joined by Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, DR Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini and Ethiopia.

Others include Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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The qualifiers are scheduled to kick-off in September 2024 to determine the first 24 nations that will compete for Africa’s biggest event, the  CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco in 2025.

Fresh from the thrills and successes of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 where the host nation defied all odds to claim their third title, a line-up of intriguing matches is expected for the journey to the 35th edition of the showpiece continental sporting event.

In attendance will be selected CAF legends, representatives of the participating teams, members of the Local Organising Committee for Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2025 amongst others.

-CAF

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