Alloy Agu has warned the Super Eagles not to underrate their opponents in the quarterfinals of the continental championship.
Victory is not guaranteed and only the team with determination and better preparation will win, declared the 1994 Afcon winner.
Nigeria have never lost to the South Africans at the Africa Cup of Nations but the Super Eagles goalkeeper trainer cautions that history will play no part when the two sides clash.
“We have played South Africa before and they have improved better than the last time we played against them. We cannot rely on our previous results with them because this is a different game entirely. We must be highly motivated and ensure that we play with fewer errors,” Alloy Agu told Goal.com
Egypt 2019 has been full of surprises and unexpected results.
Lowly Benin eliminated favourites Morocco. Debutants Madagascar kicked out Congo DR. South Africa shocked hosts Egypt.
Yet, none of these has caught the former Nigerian goalkeeper, who was a member of the Super Eagles squad to the 1992 and 1994 Afcons, unawares.
“I am not surprised at the wave of unexpected results in the second round of the Africa Cup of Nations,” he said.
“I told our head coach, Gernot Rohr, that all the teams that qualified for the second round have the potential to make it to the quarter-final irrespective of the opponents they are facing. When I see Benin Republic, Madagascar and South Africa making it to the last eight I noted that they must have worked very hard to get here.”
Pressed on to pick the team that would emerge victorious in thequarterfinal encounter between the Super Eagles and the Bafana Bafana, Alloy Agu declared,
“Football has gone beyond what it used to be before.
“Before it was predictable to tell the outcome of some matches before they come up but it is not the same today. It is the side with better preparations, determination and tactics along with hard work that gets to win.
“Yes we lost to Madagascar but we are through to the quarter-final now. We tried out a few new things against them but it didn’t work out well.
“We knew what was at stake against Cameroon and can see the result yourself. The players came all out to play and they gave their best to ensure that the defending champion is eliminated.”