Super Eagles 'must respect Bafana'

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Beijing - Nigeria's Olympics soccer team believe the only thing that can break the Super Eagles against Bafana Bafana will be their disrespect for the 2010 World Cup hosts in Port Elizabeth next month.

Bafana host Nigeria in the return leg of the 2010 World Cup-Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on September 6.

The match is a make or break for the South Africans as their chances of qualifying for the continental showpiece in Angola are hanging on a thread.

Nigeria defeated a somewhat befuddled Bafana 2-0 in the first leg in Abuja in June.

While Nigeria's display on that day made them bookies' favourites to prevail in Port Elizabeth, some of their players believe Bafana can upset the applecart at home.

This thoughtful forewarning was made by Obinna Nsofor, Victor Anichebe and Peter Odemwingie, who were in the Nigerian Under-23 squad that reached the final of the Beijing Olympics.

"It will be dangerous for us not to respect Bafana because of our past results against them. I have played against them and I know their potential," said Anichebe, who plays with Steven Pienaar at English Premiership club Everton.

"But I got news from England that Pienaar will miss the match because of injury and this should be good news for Nigeria because this guy can be a problem."

"We need to be tight in all positions and not allow them to do as they please," added Odemwingie, who plays in Russia.

Nigeria top Group 4 with a 100 percent record in four matches. South Africa and Sierra Leone both have four points. Bafana are second because of goal advantage. Equatorial Guinea are bottom on three.