South Africa v Nigeria: Mashaba wary of bitter opponents
Shakes Mashaba expects to face a "bitter" Nigeria side bent on revenge when they head to Nelspruit to take on South Africa on Sunday.
South Africa have a poor record against Nigeria with only one solitary victory in an international friendly in 2004 to show from their last 11 matches against the Super Eagles.
However, Bafana Bafana held the Nigerians to two draws during qualification for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, results that helped to eliminate the then African champions from the competition in the preliminary stages.
And these results have Mashaba believing Nigeria will be looking for payback when the sides meet at the Mbombela Stadium.
"Of course the Nigerians are still feeling bitter after knocking them out," Mashaba said.
"To them, it's payback time. Of course they still want to show us that they are still the best when comes to football in Africa."
Mashaba also called on supporters to come to the stadium to cheer on South Africa as they seek to break their 10-year winless streak against the Super Eagles.
"There is history between the two nations and a great rivalry," Mashaba said.
"We want to win that match at all cost and we need South Africans to come in their large numbers, we need your support South Africa.
"In our recent matches against Nigeria we drew in both matches. In the second qualifier we came close to securing a victory. The players are hungry but we need supporters to pack Mbombela and really make it difficult for them."
While Mashaba's men warmed up for this fixture with a 3-1 win over Swaziland in midweek, Nigeria will be smarting after losing 1-0 at home to an unfancied Ugandan side, who spoilt Eagles captain Vincent Enyeama's 100th international cap
The loss prompted a furious response from Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick who warned the country's top stars they must be ready to give everything for the team or stay away entirely.
"We are supposed to be celebrating with Vincent Enyeama on his 100th cap, but your poor performance has ruined the party and Nigerians are very angry," Pinnick said.
"When next you receive an invitation letter to come represent Nigeria, you have a critical decision to make: accept it only if you believe you are in the frame of mind to give your everything or decline if you do not feel that way.
"The camp of the national team would no longer welcome average players or good players with poor attitude."