Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, observed on Tuesday that the Super Eagles could not afford to be over –confident going into Wednesday’s crucial Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana. “Pointe Noire was a bright point for us, no doubt. We went there with a strong mind to turn the campaign around and we did just that. But, there are still 90 minutes to go in the qualifying race and it is critical that we maintain focus,” he said. “The wise guys tell you that it is when a guy gets too confident that he is wide open for a sucker punch. I am a strong optimist and I know that we are as good as being in the draw for the final tournament. But, we must keep a level head for those 90 minutes, maintain focus and clinically take our chances.” The two –goal win in Pointe Noire, on Saturday, means that the African champions will be eligible to defend their title in Equatorial Guinea early next year once they achieve any margin of victory against group winners South Africa at the Akwa Ibom International Stadium in Uyo.
However, Pinnick, whose infant regime (elected into office only seven weeks ago) has already been blessed with triumph at the African Women Championship in Namibia and a landmark passage of the long–hanging NFF Bill by the National Assembly, says qualification for the 30th Africa Cup of Nations is guaranteed, as the Eagles know what is at stake on Wednesday. SEE MORE ON PAGE 2