Coach Stuart Baxter kept his promise of keeping his winning formula for Bafana Bafana against the Super Eagles when South Africa chalked up an impressive away win in Uyo on Saturday evening.
Baxter is the only coach to have beaten Nigeria and the wily mentor begun his tenure with an impressive away win.
Tokelo Rantie and Percy Tau were the heroes of Bafana Bafana as they scored with some impressive breakaway goals that silenced the near capacity crowd.
The game started at a tentative pace with both sides trying to size each other. However, the home side seemed to throw every man upfront as they searched for an early lead.
The Bafana Bafana defence contained the early threat as the crowd urged the home side on.
Nigeria then appealed for a penalty but the Tunisian officials waved the appeal away as South Africa continued to frustrate the Super Eagles.
The visitors then threatened to break free but Keagan Dolly was hacked down when he was heading for goal.
Nigeria then made a swift counter attack and twice Khune came off his line to thwart a dangerous looking attack before the Super Eagles again saw their effort go tantalisingly wide.
Khune again came to the rescue when Moses Simon’s dipping cross almost caught him unawares as the visitors matched Nigeria man for man.
Themba Zwane then hit the post as South Africa almost snatched the lead following a rampaging run by Tebogo Langerman. However, with the gaping goal at his mercy, Zwane contrived to hit the upright when it looked easier to score than miss.
The same pattern then repeated itself in the second half as the hosts camped in the visitors’ own half but Stuart Baxter’s boys seemed to cope well.
South Africa then took the lead through Tokelo Rantie whose great header beat Daniel Akpeyi. This followed a great cross by Ramahlwe Mphahlele to silence the capacity crowd.
It was a master stroke by Baxter who decided to gamble by pushing a number of players forward and Mphahlele’s cross was what the doctor ordered.
South Africa then threatened to take complete control of the midfield as the supporters started the grumble. Lebogang Manyama then came on for Sibusiso Vilakazi as the visitors tried to tighten the grip.
Playing with complete confidence South Africa prised open the Nigerian defence with some incisive play but again Zwane’s effort’s ferocious shot came off the upright.
Dolly was then impeded in the box but again the Tunisian official waved play on.
South Africa then cleared the ball off the line as Nigeria threatened to come back into the game.
Bafana Bafana then made it 2-0 when Keagan Dolly’s quick thinking released Percy Tau who had just came in for Rantie as the crowd bayed for their heroes’ blood.