Mothiba on Nigeria, lack of goals, Lorch and more

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Bafana Bafana will be motivated by their record in recent matches against Nigeria ahead of the all-important 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) quarterfinal at the Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday evening (kick-off at 21:00).

Bafana recorded a historic win when they eliminated the hosts Egypt, beating them 1-0 in front of 75 000 Egyptians on Saturday evening in the Last 16 stage.

The Super Eagles equally had a very good win, coming back from 2-1 down to beat Cameroon 3-2 on the same day.

Bafana have drawn two and won one of the last three matches and the win was achieved in Uyo, in what was Stuart Baxter’s first game with Bafana in this second stint.

French-based striker Lebo Mothiba says they have to believe in themselves going to this game and anything is possible.

Mothiba knows this current Nigeria team very well. He scored the equaliser against them during the 1-all draw in Bafana’s penultimate Afcon qualifier at the FNB Stadium in November 2019.

He’s, however, going through a dry spell when it comes to scoring at international level, having played six matches since then without finding the back of the net.

But his important holding role upfront can never be underestimated and he’s won Bafana crucial free-kicks in this tournament which could’ve led to goals.

The RC Strasbourg striker says it’s always about the team first.

Mothiba says it’s important that they remain humble ahead of this game, as he also weighs in on the perfect assist that he played for Thembinkosi Lorch’s goal.

The introduction of Lorch in Saturday’s game brought some freedom to the attackers like Mothiba and Percy Tau.

The PSL Footballer of the Season’s pace made things easier for the attack to have space and Mothiba says the support worked perfectly for him.

Mothiba, who finished in the top 10 of the top goalscorers chart in the French Ligue 1 with 10 goals, has also been a victim of criticism from back home during this Afcon.

The 23-year-old has never played his professional football in South Africa and he has a way of handling criticism. – Report by Velile Mnyandu