Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr claims Bafana Bafana are firm favourites to lift the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations following their impressive 1-0 win against Egypt in the Round of 16.
South Africa pulled off the unthinkable last Saturday when they dumped hosts Egypt out of the competition in front of 75, 000 fans at the Cairo International Stadium.
And Rohr feels their remarkable exploits deserve respect, explaining why their achievements surpass their last-16 win over champions Cameroon.
“We saw the game with Egypt against South Africa and we know South Africa well because they were in our group competing for the qualifiers,” he said at the pre-match press conference.
“To beat Egypt, in this circumstance, up against a good team with one of the best players in Africa (Mohamed Salah), it will make them full of confidence.
“They (Bafana Bafana) deserved to win because they were the better team and now for me, if you beat the favourite number one in Egypt, you become the new favourites.”
Rohr added, “We also had a good game against Cameroon, we also have confidence, so we should be expecting a match of high quality.
“I think the strength of our team is the unity and the fighting spirit — and even against South Africa, which has suddenly become the new favourites of the tournament.
“We also have confidence after scoring three goals (against Cameroon) against a team who did not concede a goal in the group stage, so we’re confident also, but for me South Africa in the favourites.”