Eagles Must Not Lose On Saturday – Okocha


Former Super Eagles captain, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha has added his voice to permutations ahead of Saturday’s potentially explosive clash with South Africa, and says the Nigerian team cannot afford to lose.
Although Nigeria will be away in the penultimate match of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, ‘The Emperor’ stressed that the fixture at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg could define if they will return to the continental soccer showpiece next year or not.
Having missed the last two AFCON competitions consecutively, Jay Jay reckons Nigeria need to get back to the spotlight in Cameroon, but says it would only be feasible once they avoid defeat on Saturday.
Bafana will take plenty of courage from their 2-0 away win in the first leg of the Group E fixture in Uyo, to end a 13-year winless run against the Eagles, but Okocha believes that win will also serve as motivation for Gernot Rohr’s players to hit back this time out.
Okocha acknowledged: “It was a deserved victory for Bafana Bafana then, which I think we took a lesson from.
“It was long overdue, and of course you need defeats like that to help you bounce back or realise that changes need to be made.
“Of course, as a football person you know you don’t have to be a sore loser, you have to accept defeat in order to get better.
“The previous games have been played but the most important is the next one.
“Sometimes you might look back to draw motivation going into the next game, which could be key for us going into this one.
“Most important is for the players to understand, which I’m sure they do, that it’s a game they can’t afford to lose if they want to qualify for AFCON.
“If we win, that’s our ticket to Cameroon, so the pressure is really on Bafana Bafana, which makes it also an interesting match to watch.”

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