Okocha: Pressure is more on Bafana

South Africa and Nigeria will clash for the 14th time in their history when they take to the FNB Stadium pitch on Saturday afternoon (15h00).

The highly anticipated match-up has more than just pride at stake this time, with a guaranteed place at next year’s continental finals up for grabs for whoever comes out victorious.

Bafana will take plenty of courage from their previous meeting with the Super Eagles, which they walked away 2-0 victors from in the reverse Group E fixture in Uyo to end a 13-year winless run against the West Africans.

However, Okocha believes that win will over serve as motivation for Gernot Rohr’s charges to hit back this time around.

“Records are meant to be broken, and unless you lie to yourself then you won’t accept defeat like that,” Okocha tells KickOff.com.

“We could say that it [a Bafana victory] was long overdue, and of course you need defeats like that to help you bounce back or realise that changes need to be made.

“Of course, as a football person you know you don’t have to be a sore loser, you have to accept defeat in order to get better.

“It was a deserved victory for Bafana Bafana then, which I think we took a lesson from.”

With Nigeria currently top of the group – one point ahead of Bafana, the former Bundesliga and Premier League star also feels pressure will be higher on the hosts to try and get the points this weekend.

“The previous games have been played but the most important is the next one. Sometimes you might look back to draw motivation going into the next game, which could be key for us going into this one,” Okocha says.

“For me, most important is for the players to understand, which I’m sure they do, that it’s a game they can’t afford to lose if they want to qualify for AFCON.

“If we win, that’s our ticket to Cameroon, so the pressure is really more on Bafana Bafana, which makes it also an interesting match to watch.”

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