Super Eagles head coach, Jose Peseiro, remains optimistic that Nigeria can win the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations but must first beat South Africa in their semi-final clash Wednesday (today) The PUNCH reports.
The Eagles and Bafana Bafana will rekindle rivalry today at the Stade de la Paix in Bouaké as both countries bid to book a place in the semi-finals of the competition.
Today’s game will be the fourth time that the two countries will be facing each other at the AFCON with Nigeria winning all three previous encounters.
South Africa will be desperate to end their losing streak to Nigeria at the AFCON having lost 2-0 in the semis in 2000, which was followed by another 4-0 defeat in 2004 and suffering elimination after a 2-1 loss at the last eight in 2019, underscoring the one-sided nature of this fixture at the continental showpiece.
With just two games away from potentially winning the 34th edition of the AFCON, Jose Peseiro is close to fulfilling his promise of bringing smiles to the faces of Nigerians by winning the long-coveted trophy after the country last won it in 2013 under the guidance of late Stephen Keshi.
Speaking ahead of today’s game the 63-year-old said, “We’re doing a good job. With good organisation and good commitment, we play like a team together.
“It will be a tough match against a good national team.
“We want to beat South Africa to reach the final. For that, we have to play a high-level match against a South African team that eliminated Morocco, who did a fantastic World Cup.
“We must play 100% or more to beat a very good team.”
He added, “I believe that we can win this competition.
“But they also want to win AFCON, just like us.”
Nigeria’s impressive AFCON campaign has put them a step away from the final as they bid to win the tournament for the fourth time, but they must outdo the Bafana Bafana to do that.
The Super Eagles secured another victory against Angola without conceding to record their fourth consecutive clean sheet en route to the last four and will hope to continue with their impressive defensive record when they face Hugo Broos’ boys today.
Like the Eagles, Broos’ boys have not conceded since their tournament opener against Namibia, and the AFCON 2017-winning manager is not expected to change the backline that has kept opponents out in four consecutive games.