Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr admits that his side took a more cautious approach against Bafana Bafana, in addition to heaping praise on former Mamelodi Sundowns star Percy Tau.
The Brighton & Hove Albion loanee played a major part in his side securing a point in their clash at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon, when he single-handedly blazed the Super Eagles defence to set up Lebogang Mothiba’s equaliser in the 26th minute.
Speaking in post-match comments, Rohr suggested qualification was a very real possibility for South Africa, who need at least a point from their final group game against Libya in March 2019.
‘It is going to be a big battle. We were also in Tunisia, Sfax to play against a good team of Libya. They saw already here that it’s not easy to beat them,’ Rohr said after the game.
‘But I think if South Africa play against Libya like they played today, with this kind of movement, Percy Tau who’s a wonderful player, they will win it also.
‘Even a draw will be enough, I think they will be with us in the next Afcon in Cameroon,’ he said.
‘We expected this much [resistance] because we know that South Africa is a good team. They never conceded a goal and the challenge today was to score against this very good goalkeeper,’ he added.
‘We knew it was going to be a difficult game, it was very hot. Long travelling, only arriving yesterday morning without sleeping in the night.
‘The second half was very difficult but we started the match very well. We scored the first goal and then our tactics were OK. They had to come against our defensive block, it was difficult for South Africa.
‘We tried to score the second goal, of course. We always play to win. We’ve won the other four matches before that’s why we wanted to win. But we didn’t want to take any risks because we knew that a draw is just like a victory,’ he concluded.
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