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Adepoju warns Eagles against South Africa

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1994 Africa Cup of Nations-winning midfielder and former Real Madrid youth teamer, Mutiu Adepoju has predicted that Nigeria’s 2026 World Cup qualifying match against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana will be difficult.

Considering the fact that Nigeria were on a dismal run of form before the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, having drawn with Lesotho and Zimbabwe before losing to Guinea, the Super Eagles exceeded expectations by reaching the final of the competition in Ivory Coast.

The Super Eagles dumped Bafana Bafana out of the 2023 AFCON after a nerve-wrecking penalty shootout in the semifinals.

Adepoju is cautious ahead of the visit of the South Africans to Uyo and pointed out that the rivalry between both nations is now at the same level as Nigeria versus Ghana or Cameroon.

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Group C of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers is incredibly tight heading into the third matchday, with only two points separating the first placed team Rwanda and fifth placed Zimbabwe.

Adepoju, who attended three World Cups with Nigeria, highlighted that the Super Eagles are desperate to qualify for another World Cup after missing out on the 2022 edition in Qatar.

“South Africa is not going to be easy, we defeated them in the semifinals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations and our women defeated them in the Olympic qualifiers,” Adepoju said/

Read Also: NFF to choose between two Nigerian coaches for Super Eagles job

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“It’s always very tough playing against South Africa, just like playing against Cameroon in the past and even Ghana.

“That’s another big opposition. Benin Republic and any team are motivated to play against us.

“What we have to do is try and break them so all the support should be given to the coaches. The players should have that belief that the whole country is behind them.”

The Super Eagles will lock horns with South Africa on Friday, June 7 at the  Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.

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