Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr has told www.aclsports.com that he is surprised that his side will be facing South Africa instead of Egypt in their quarter final game in Cairo next Wednesday.
The Bafana Bafana pulled off one of the greatest upsets in the tournament’s history on Saturday night when they defeated the Pharaohs of Egypt 1-0 at a packed Cairo International Stadium to set up a quarter final meeting with the Super Eagles.
Rohr while speaking with Aclsports was under no illusions at the enormity of what the South Africans achieved on Saturday night.
“Facing South Africa in the quarter final is a surprise. We expected Egypt, now it’s South Africa,” began the German to www.aclsports.com
“We know them very well, we know that they are a fantastic team. To win here in Egypt against the host country and Mohammed Salah is fantastic and we had a good draw in Johannesburg in South Africa to qualify for the AFCON but we lost at home to them in Uyo so we have to take a revenge,” added the former Gabon manager.
Regardless of who they face in the quarter final, one thing is constant for Rohr, and that is: his side must improve and keep improving on their performances.
He continued: “We have to prepare very well. Tomorrow (Sunday) morning again training, and we have to improve to be able to go to the semi-final now, that’s our target.
Both teams met twice during the qualification series with the South Africans gaining four points off the Eagles although the Nigerians wrapped up their qualification with a draw in Johannesburg.
Rohr has that at the back of his mind and still emphasises on his side’s improvement.
“The familiarity with them doesn’t count as advantage for us because they know us also so it’s an advantage for anybody but they have changed the team.
“They are better now, they changed the goalkeeper, changed some players in the midfield, they have this Percy Tau who is a wonderful player and we still have to improve
“We conceded two goals and we made mistakes in the end of the first half so we have to improve still to be able to progress,” concluded Rohr.
Nigeria vs South Africa will come up at the gigantic Cairo International Stadium at 9:00PM local time (9:00PM in Nigeria on Wednesday, July 10.