Akwa United coach Kennedy Boboye has made his prediction ahead of Thursday’s African Legends Cup of Nations showdown between Jay-Jay Okocha and Benni McCarthy.
Writing on his @BoboyeKennedy Twitter handle, the experienced Nigerian tactician has tipped Jay-Jay to advance at the expense of his South African rival.
You sound very confident Mr. Boboye? Don’t you think Benni could pull off the win? https://t.co/ekPSpRfUqO
— Ed Dove (@EddyDove) May 7, 2020
The two continental greats overcame potentially tricky First Round ties to come head to head in the Second Round, with their match-up scheduled to take place on Thursday.
Okocha downed another South African, Lucas Radebe, in the Round of 32, advancing comfortably in one of the more one-sided match-ups of the tournament so far.
McCarthy was one of the surprise packages of the opening round, dispatching Arsenal striker and reigning Premier League Golden Boot holder Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a narrow battle.
Now, however, the former FC Porto man has his work cut out when up against Okocha, who has been remembered as one of the finest African players never to win the African Footballer of the Year award.
Two legends with great reputations go head-to-head in another #ALCON Round of 1⃣ 6⃣ encounter.
Jay-Jay Okocha 🇳🇬 🆚 Bennie McCarthy 🇿🇦
Who are you backing? 🤔 👇 pic.twitter.com/LixhxmZckI
— Goal Africa (@GoalAfrica) May 7, 2020
The duo both shone in the Premier League, although it was McCarthy who conquered Europe under Jose Mourinho, while Okocha’s trophy haul cannot begin to compare to that of his Alcon rival.
Already in the African Legends Cup of Nations Round of 16 so far, Samuel Eto’o has advanced past Roger Milla in the Cameroonian derby, while there was a tie between Mohamed Salah and Samuel Kuffour, neither of whom were able to get a clear advantage over the other.
The likes of Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba and Abedi Pele have already progressed to the Round of 16 following opening round victories over Wael Gomaa, Vincent Enyeama and Asamoah Gyan respectively, while Okocha’s fellow Nigerians Nwankwo Kanu and John Obi Mikel have also advanced.
Kanu is scheduled to meet Pele in the Round of 16 after seeing off Kolo Toure in Round Two, while Mikel will face his former Chelsea teammate Michael Essien in one of the ties of the tournament so far.
Earlier this week, Boboye paid tribute to Alcon contender Rashidi Yekini, who was eliminated in his opening match at the hands of Hossam Hassan.
“Yekini was one of the few African strikers who inspired me during my playing career,” Boboye wrote on Twitter. “Rest on legend.”