Nigerian Soccer Analyst, Ike Obidike, predicts that, even though the much-anticipated Afcon Quarterfinal match between South Africa and Mali is going to be a tough one, Bafana Bafana will advance to the semi-finals.
"It is going to be a very tough game, but as we have seen, South Africa is very capable of rising to the occasion," Obikide said in an interview on SABC's Morning Live show, today.
Obidike has, however, pointed Seydou Keita and Mahamadou Sissoko out as Mali’s danger men, who could pose a threat to Bafana Bafana. "If the South African midfielders could take note of that and try to clip those two guys, I think half of their work would be done."
The central partnership of Bongani Khumalo and Siyabonga Sangweni has been criticised for cracking when put under pressure. But Obidike believes with Mali’s goalscoring woes, Bafana Bafana’s defence may not be too troubled.
"What we have seen is that the South African team improves with each game, as the tournament progresses, which is expected of a good team … which is a good thing. If you look at their opponent, Mali; they are not very effective in their goal scoring. Most of the time, they depend on Seydou Keita to do all the work. The South African defence is not bad. Yes, they conceded goals, but they should be able to contain Mali."
Obidike has expressed less confidence in Ghana winning the tournament.
Meanwhile, Obidike has expressed less confidence in Ghana winning the tournament.
"They fight to the end, but they don’t play like champions. They could get to the finals, but taking the cup we still have to watch them again."
He has, however, predicted a straight win for his home team, Nigeria, who will face off against Ethiopia tonight. -Edited by Sipho Kekana