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Etafia tips Boniface to inspire Eagles’ win over South Africa

Etafia tips Boniface to inspire Eagles’ win over South Africa

Former Super Eagles goalkeeper Greg Etafia has tipped Nigeria to beat South Africa when both teams clash in a Group C matchday three encounter at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on Friday evening.

However, he was also quick to warn the Eagles against underrating Bafana Bafana, whom they beat 4-2 on penalties in the semi-finals at the recent Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

He feels Bafana’s advantage is that their team has been together for a while.

Etafia, who earned four caps for Nigeria before retiring, admits that Victor Osimhen’s absence is a huge blow for the Eagles but believes Bayer Leverkusen striker Victor Boniface will inspire them to a victory in Uyo.

“Of course, Osimhen’s absence is a blow … I mean, we are talking about the African Footballer of the Year here, but Nigeria have enough depth upfront,” Etafia told Sowetan Live.

“I really think Boniface will shine. After missing AFCON, he should be highly motivated to prove that he can help Nigeria, and this is a good chance for him to lead the attack as Osimhen is injured.

“I see Nigeria winning this game. It will be very close because Bafana are a tough team, but the coach (Finidi George) will go all out to win this game because many people doubt him, so he still wants to prove a point.

“He was appointed after AFCON (where he was the assistant coach to Jose Peseiro), and he beat Ghana 2-1 in his first game in a friendly and lost 2-0 to Mali in the second game, so he’s under pressure, and he will not allow another defeat.

“Nigeria should know that Bafana are no pushovers, as they showed them at Afcon that they can compete. Nigeria’s team is new, especially because the coach is new, but Bafana have been together for a while, and that can work for them.”

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