SUPER Eagles coach Jose Peseiro has remained optimistic that Nigeria could win the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire.
Peseiro stated this ahead of today’s semi-final clash between the Nigerian Super Eagles and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, which will kick off at the Stade de la Paix in Bouaké at 6 pm.
“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 had a fantastic World Cup.
“We must play hundred per cent or more to beat a very good team. I believe that we can win this competition,” he said.
However, he admitted that the clash would not be a stroll in the park, describing his opponent as a good team.
“It will be a tough match against a good national team,” he added.
Today’s match between both countries in their quest to claim continental football glory will be the fourth time they will play each other in AFCON competitions, with Nigeria winning three.
In all football competitive matches, they have met 15 times.
Both teams met at the semi-final of AFCON 2000, played in Lagos, which Nigeria won by 2-0.
Also, in the AFCON 2004 edition, Nigeria continued in their dominance as they defeated South Africa 4-0, and in the continental football showpiece edition held in 2019, the Super Eagles won 2-0.
Peseiro had faced criticisms over his handling of the Super Eagles, as the team’s performances before the AFCON had been poor.
Road to the Semi-finals
Both teams’ road to the semi-finals saw them cross the hurdles from the three matches in the group stage to the round of 16 and quarter-final knockout stages.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles boast of four wins and a draw, conceding a goal out of the five matches played so far in Group A, while South Africa recorded three wins, a draw plus a loss in their opening match against Mali in Group E to get to the Semi-finals.
The ICIR reported that the losing semi-finalists will receive $2.5m.