Football

Nigeria turning heads to becoming AFCON championship favorites

The Nigerian football team lives up to their title as three-time AFCON champions, all three in a row. The round of 16 is about to begin on Sunday and now the stakes are higher than ever. 

It all boils down to tomorrow’s match as the Super Eagles of Nigeria are going up against the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia. 

History Bites Back 

Both teams carry a chip on their shoulder to prove they belong and mean business to everyone. This year marks the 20th appearance of Tunisia but has only managed to come out victors once in 2004 versus Morocco. 

Here’s where it gets rocky, Tunisia’s highest achievement was only reaching the Semi-finals in 2019, but was unfortunately spoiled by Nigeria to claim bronze.

The two have been familiar foes for the past decade, garnering a total of 16 matches, including a friendly match in October 2020, which ended in a draw.

Tallying a total of five wins apiece and six draws in all past matches. Nonetheless, the recent winning match comes way back in 2019 as Nigeria won its bronze. They haven’t lost a game in the last five but were considered draws. 

Information is Key 

The match is highly considered a battle of wits and strategy on who knows who more than the other. The Tunisians have been well coached by Mother Kebai, instilling discipline and strategic playstyle, often known for their quickness and tenacity in building behind. 

The North Africans displayed this during their match against Maurinta in the group stage but could not replicate the same results versus Mali and Gambia. Their biggest weakness comes in questionable defense, as they easily conceded goals from past games. 

As for Nigeria, a win most likely favors them as their opposition is currently struggling with a depleted roaster due to COVID-19 protocols. 

To make things interesting, recently awarded Best coach of the Group Stage, Augustine Eguavoen is sure to have a couple of things up his sleeve.

Nigeria remains on guard regardless of the situation and is out to come out as victors in a match where any margin of error could cost the game. 

 

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