8 June 2024 – Bafana Bafana shrugged off travel challenges to draw 1-1 with Nigeria during a pulsating 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Friday night.

It was a tense showdown between the two long-time foes, but coach Hugo Broos’ charges rose to the challenge, and took the fight to their West African hosts from the opening whistle. After one of their longest trips to Nigeria, spanning more than 30 hours, Bafana Bafana will feel they could have won the match.

The South African senior men’s national team were the first to get their name up on the stadium scoreboard after irrepressible midfielder Themba Zwane opened the scoring in the 29th minute after a delicious pass from Yaya Sithole. Maestro Zwane was like an orchestra conductor interpreting composer Broos’ team sheet, and he executed the task at hand with his signature silky brush of the ball.

It was such a moment of inspiration from the visitors that the home fans were stunned into silence by the buildup, and by Zwane’s delectable final execution.

But the hosts equalised through Faruq Dele-Bashiru soon after the restart in the second half to put the Nigerians back in the game. The Bafana Bafana players put their bodies on the line to keep Nigeria at bay, and also try to find the goal that would have given the visitors a victory away from home.

Goalkeeper Ronwen Williams pulled off stunning saves to ensure that the South African senior men’s national team will return home tomorrow with a point from Nigeria. It was a team effort, and all the players gave their all in Uyo.

Bafana Bafana face Zimbabwe in their next World Cup qualifier in a match that is to be played at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, 11 June 2024. Kickoff is at 18h00. Tickets to this encounter are now available at the match venue, Free State stadium.

The gates will open at 15h00 and the tickets are priced at R50.00 for adults. Kids, scholars and students will pay R20.00 (school uniform and student cards required for over 12-year-olds). Tickets are also available at TicketPro outlets, Spar, SuperSpar, Putco, Postnet etc. Hospitality tickets are available from the stadium, and they are priced at R1500.00 and R2000.00 packages, including food and drinks.