The Super Eagles and Bafana Bafana’s defensive skills will be tested in their semi-final clash for the Africa Cup of Nations. 

While Nigeria has had trouble getting their offense going, the trio of William Troost-Ekong, Calvin Bassey, and Semi Ajayi in the back has been solid.

By contrast, the South African backline of all-Mamelodi Sundowns players—including centre defenders Mothobi Mvala and Grant Kekana and fullbacks Khuliso Mudau and Aubrey Modiba—has been superb.

Keeping four straight clean sheets is an impressive achievement, and both South Africa and Nigeria have shown tremendous defensive skill throughout the Africa Cup of Nations. 

They have shown their ability to withstand pressure and prevent attacks with their defensive stability, which has been crucial to their tournament trips.

Conversely, South Africa’s defense unit comprises Sundowns players and has been an incredible force, helping them reach the tournament’s semi-finals. 

South Africa’s success has been built around this well-cohesive defensive unit, where players know each other’s playing styles and habits from their club. 

The Nigerian defense is ready to face South Africa in the semi-final match since there have been no injuries or problems with their starting lineup. 

Nevertheless, the main concern surrounding this encounter is whether South Africa’s offensive ability is strong enough to breach Nigeria’s organized defense.

The defensive capabilities of South Africa have come under scrutiny due to worries about Nigeria’s attacking strength. Victor Osimhen, a great forward for the Super Eagles, has returned to training after experiencing stomach pain. Therefore, Bafana will need to figure out how to restrict him.

In addition, the South African defense still has a ways to go before it can adequately control the Super Eagles’ leading scorer, Ademola Lookman. Finding a way to stop Lookman and keep their defense strong against Nigeria’s attacks would be a massive challenge for Bafana’s defenders.