World Cup

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Ghana’s Afcon disaster can be an advantage for Nigeria – Adepoju

00:07 EAT 23/01/2022
Andre Ayew Jordan Ayew Alexander Djiku Ghana
The African football great feels the Super Eagles can gain an advantage from the Black Stars’ failed mission in Cameroon

Ghana’s failed expedition at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations can play into Nigeria’s hands when both teams meet in the 2022 World Cup qualifying play-off, according to Mutiu Adepoju.

The Super Eagles are hoping to qualify for the global football showpiece for the seventh time in their history, albeit, they must negotiate their way past their cross-country rivals.

For the Black Stars, they are still fresh from a disastrous outing in Cameroon where they crashed out of the group stage without recording a win after three matches.

The aftermath saw the Ghana Football Association show Serbian coach Milovan Rajevac the exit door as the West Africans are expected to name a replacement in the coming days.

Assessing Nigeria’s chances towards qualifying for the World Cup billed for Qatar, the La Liga ambassador - who represented the senior national team for 12 years – was asked if the state of football in Ghana could mar the Black Stars’ hopes, and Adepoju answered GOAL.

 “Sure! that can play into the Super Eagles’ advantage and it is good for us, but we should do our homework well and the players must be ready and prepared for the big game.

“However, having disappointed at the Africa Cup of Nations and following their absence from the 2018 edition in Russia, the Black Stars will do all it takes to return to the big stage.

“Even at that, the quality in our team and with a positive mindset, I strongly believe that Nigeria will triumph.”

To some, pairing either DR Congo or Mali would have been an easier matchup, but the former Real Madrid star did not agree with that assertion, insisting the teams that made the play-offs are of equal strength.

“Any team that we are paired with would not have been easy because all the countries worked so hard to reach this stage,” he continued.

“That being said, the rivalry between Ghana and Nigeria has been very strong over the years and I don’t expect the Super Eagles to have it all smooth.

“If we get our act right and prepare very well, we will beat them to qualify for the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.”

Ghana will hold the first leg while the Teslim Balogun Stadium is likely to host the reverse fixture, also in March.