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2021 AFCON: Ex-international, Akanni warns Eagles against complacency

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Ex-international, Waidi Akanni, says Super Eagles’ 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match against Benin Republic in Uyo, Cross River, on Wednesday, is a must-win match.

Akanni stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.

“We must take the campaign seriously by getting everything right; it should be a must-win against Benin Republic.

“Anything short of a win or even a draw wouldn’t be so fantastic. The players must have the mentality of winners and they must also guide against underestimating any team.

“The mentality of underestimating your opponent has brought even the world best teams crashing.

“Going by their (Benin Republic) performance at the last Nations Cup, we must take them seriously. Like I always maintain, football is evolving,’’ he said.

The 1972 Munich Bronze Medallist said that the Ahmed Musa-led Eagles should learn to create and effectively utilise all scoring chances to be in a comfortable position.

“Not only creating scoring chances but also converting them to goal is important.

“The most vital thing is to get the needed point. More so, we are playing at home; we should take advantage of home support,’’ the former Lagos State Football Association Chairman said.

He advised the players to play as unified team to outscore their opponent.

Banking Code

“Collectively, they must play as a team. The Captain of the team, Musa, should encourage his teammates to focus on collective glory rather than individual hype.

“Winning as a team is the main thing we need to focus on, I wish Super Eagles all the best,’’ Akanni said.

The Super Eagles will open their campaign for a place at the 2021 Cameroon Nations Cup, as they host the Squirrels of Benin Republic at Godswill Akpabio Stadium Uyo, Cross River, on Nov.13.

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