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AFCON 2019: ‘There are no more underdogs in African football’

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Ilorin – Football fans in Ilorin have advised the Super Eagles not to underrate any of their opponents in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

Some fans who spoke urged the Nigerian team to take every match with utmost seriousness, in their bid to do the nation proud in the tournament.

Tope Amoko, one of the fans, appealed to the Eagles to start seeing every opponent in the tournament as a title contender, and not an underdog.

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“The team needs to wipe away the popular notion of seeing their opponents as underdogs. They should stop listening to pundits and fans labeling their opponents as underdogs.

“There are no more underdogs in African football,” he said.

Another football fan, Obinna Stephen, advised the Super Eagles to approach every match as if they were playing in the finals of the tournament.

He warned against indulging in what he termed ” playing for fun”.

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According to him, the Eagles underrated Burundi in their first match and played as if nothing was at stake.

“It was just as if they were having fun on the field. We need to change that attitude and show some respect to opponents,” he said.

On his part, Yusuf Ibrahim, another soccer fan, advised the players to respect their national colours and show commitment and zeal as they do when playing for their various club sides.

He claimed that the performance of most players in the national team was below average, unlike what they gave when playing for their club sides.

Ibrahim appealed to the players to be patriotic, as it was a duty for their fatherland.

Mr Kunle Fabiyi, also a soccer lover, said that the team struggled to win the match against Burundi because they underrated their opponents.

“The boys approached Burundi game with too much confidence, which nearly cost us the match. We need to play like title contenders and not pretenders.

“Let us put fear in our opponents through good performance,” he said.

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For Festus Idowu, the team should forget the past glory and concentrate on what they wanted to achieve for the country in the tournament.

” Big names don’t win matches, it is big performance that wins. It’s time for Eagles to play for the trophy and not just to participate in the fiesta,” he said.

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NAN reports that Eagles narrowly flew over the Swallows of Burundi on Saturday, winning by a lone goal that came through Odion Ighalo’s 77th minute strike.

The team is billed to face National Elephants of Guinea on Wednesday, June 26, by 3.00pm, and play their last group B match against the Barea of Madagascar on June 30, by 5.00pm. (NAN)

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