By Jacob Ajom
Nigeria stands a good chance of beating Egypt in Tuesday’s Africa Cup of Nations opening group match only if the Eagles refuse to allow the North Africans dictate the pace.

This was the reasoning of former Green Eagles goalkeeper, Peter Rufai who believes the Nigerians have everything to play for and must not fail.

His only worry? “Egypt is a tactical and technically disciplined side. My advice is that the Super Eagles must not leave anything to chance. They should not leave any stone unturned and must play with determination.

“I want them to show commitment, determination backed by passion,’ Rufai said, adding, “in every step they take, they should remain focused.”

He warned further, “they must not underate any team because we no longer have minnows in world football. We must guide against underating teams. Whever qualifies for a tournament is capable of winning it. Gone are the days you look at a tournament of this nature and tip maybe Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire or Ghana as likely winners. Not again as the game has developed everywhere.”

Peter Rufai expressed happiness over the improved match bonus regime announced for the Nigerian players by the Nigeria Football Federation, saying that it would be a source of motivation for the players.

“There have been a couple of positive changes in the manner the game is run and I think this is one of the ways the NFF want to get the layers committed. It is a morale booster. I am happy about it.”

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