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Afcon 2019: ‘This is totally different from the qualifiers’ – Nigeria’s Ighalo warns South Africa

The Super Eagles striker has told Stuart Baxter’s side to anticipate a tough challenge in Cairo

Nigeria forward Odion Ighalo has warned South Africa not to expect the same Nigeria performance as the qualifiers when they clash in the quarter-final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) on Wednesday.

The two countries were paired against each other in Group E of the qualifying round for the continental tournament where they faced off home and away.

Two years ago, South Africa defeated Gernot Rohr’s side 2-0 in Uyo which turned out to be Nigeria’s only defeat in the qualifiers.

The second match took place in Johannesburg last November and they played out a 1-1 draw.

Nigeria have progressed in eight of their nine previous quarter-final appearances in the competition and Ighalo reaffirmed his team’s commitment to make Nigeria fans proud against ‘a very fast’ Bafana Bafana team.

“We have to do our job because this is going to be a tough game. I’m satisfied I give my best and I don’t look at the criticism,” Ighalo was quoted as saying by Caf website.

“I’m thinking of the team, if I don’t score and we still won I am satisfied. Against Cameroon it was a difficult game and tomorrow [Wednesday] it is going to be another tough one.

“We are ready and we are going to show it tomorrow. This match is totally different from those in the qualifiers. We know this is going to be a difficult game against South Africa, a very fast team but we will make sure to make Nigerians proud.”

Ighalo is currently the joint-top scorer at Afcon with three goals alongside Senegal‘s Sadio Mane, Algeria‘s Adam Ounas and DR Congo’s Cedric Bakambu.

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