South Africa Match Will Be Very Tough, But We’re Ready

2026 WCQ: South Africa Match Will Be Very Tough, But We’re Ready For This –Ajayi

West Brom Albion defender, Semi Ajayi, has told that though the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Super Eagles and Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Friday night will be very tough, Nigeria players are ready for it, reports.

Ajayi says its important that he and his national teammates roll up their sleeves in the crucial contest on Friday night because it won’t be a walk-the-park clash, recalling the two teams’ last match-up during the 2023 AFCON finals in Ivory Coast.

“It will be a tough game,” Ajayi said during Wednesday’s media chat.

“They gave us a tough game during the AFCON in Ivory Coast, so we ain’t gonna expect anything less this time.

Also Read – 2026 WCQ: Super Eagles Will Give 100% Against Bafana Bafana –Boniface

“But definitely, we’re prepared for this and for sure, we’re going to get win that we need. But certainly, it isn’t gonna be easy.”

Ajayi would go on to restate his readiness for the ‘must-win’ match on Friday night at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium Uyo.

“I’m looking forward to the match on Friday. We want to make Nigerians proud and we want to get the three points. All we want is for Nigerians to pray for us and to support us as well.”

Super Eagles have back-to-back games against South Africa and Republic of Benin in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers for USA/Mexica/Canada 2026 even as South Africa’s Bafana Bafana sit top of the Group C standings.

While reflecting further on the importance of the two crucial qualifying games, Ajayi stresses that he and team mates hold Nigeria’s prospect of playing in the first FIFA World Cup finals that will be staged in three countries simultaneously.

He added: “Yes, the major importance of these two games lies in the fact that it will affect the future and the future is these two games in front of us.

“So, everyone is hungry to make sure we achieve the maximum points in the two games. We know it isn’t gonna be easy. We know it won’t be handed over to us just like that. We must have to work hard enough to earn it”.

Super Eagles rampant forward and Napoli of Italy striker, Victor Osimhen, has been ruled out of the Friday night’s game and Ajayi says though the the striker will be sorely missed in the game, the nation isn’t in short supply of talents that could fill any void when the situation arises.

“Yeah, we will miss not only him but as well some other key players who are really top, top class players.

Also Read: 8 Eagles Striving To Step Up From Fringe To Regular Key Role Players

“We’re missing some of our key players and they are top, top players. But the good thing about this country is that we’re blessed with so many talents and have depth in this squad such that it’s a blessing for any coach to have a pool of so many quality players and now is the time for us to show the depth that we have and I’m sure we’ll deliver”.

Friday night’s gritty clash will provide Super Eagles new Head Coach, Finidi George, his first competitive test following his recent appointment by the NFF.

And Ajayi proclaims there’s already a synergy between the new gaffer and the players.

“We know he’s been around for a while now. He was an assistant coach under the previous manager (Jose Peseiro), so we’re all familiar with him and he’s also familiar with us,” Anayi enthused.

“We know how he works (his philosophy) and he knows how we work. So, we see his appointment as a transition and the cooperation is gonna really, really work.”


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