Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo has warned the Super Eagles about the threat the Squirrels of Benin Republic could pose to the Nigerians when both countries clash on Wednesday in Uyo in a Group L tie for the 2021 AFCON.
Ighalo, the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) top scorer, said it would be reckless to underrate the battle-hardened neighbours.
The Beninese are vastly improved as they drew with both Ghana (2-2) and Cameroon (0-0) in their preliminary group match and sensationally dumped cup favourites Morocco in the Round of 16; only to lose by the odd 1-0 goal to eventual runner-up Senegal in the quarter finals.
“I will advise them (Super Eagles) to take the game (against Benin) serious because there is no small team in football anymore,” the Shanghai Greenland Shenhua said.
“To the young guys in the team, it’s time to show what they can do and I believe they will deliver.”
The Gernot Rohr-led side go into Wednesday’s battle against Benin without the burly striker who retired from international football after his goals helped Nigeria to win the bronze medal in Egypt.
Meanwhile, when pressed about the likelihood to rescind his retirement decision: “Well you can never say never in life but for now, I’m facing my club football and wishing the guys all the best for the games.
“How long can I go on playing? Only God knows, mine is to keep going till I can’t anymore,” he added.