- Saturday July 6, 2019
- Cairo International stadium, Cairo 9pm (10pm EAT)
Hosts Egypt will be favourites when they take on South Africa in the round of 16 tie at the Cairo International stadium but the Bafana Bafana are not hopeless.
The Pharaohs topped Group A with maximum points and are one of the few sides yet to concede in the tournament while South Africa won just one game and conceded in two of the three group games.
Javier Aguirre expects a tough encounter against the 1996 winners who have never beaten Egypt in the previous two Afcon meetings.
“The South Africa encounter will be very tough and won‘t be easy as claimed by some. They have very good players in all positons,” said Aguirre in the pre-match press conference.
“The Bafana Bafana have the advantage of being a disciplined team. The difficulty of the game lies in the fact it has to end with a winner and that‘s why we will fight to advance to quarterfinals,” he added.
His opposite number Stuart Baxter is happy with his side being the underdog in this one after they fell to giants Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco already in the competition.
“I’m happy about that [people expecting Egypt to win], to be brutally honest,” said the Briton. “I don’t think there’s anybody in our dressing room that’s expecting them to win, honestly,” he added.
Baxter feels that his boys have given a good account of themselves in big games but only decided by small margins so he doesn’t feel different facing the much fancied hosts.
“We played Ivory Coast, Morocco, we’ve played Nigeria, Senegal and every one of those games could have gone either way. It was tight in those games.
The hosts will hope star player Mohamad Salah comes to the party while South Africa hope will be vested in the promising Percy Tau