SUPER Eagles head coach Augustine Eguavoen has revealed that his team with play their round-of-16 opponents in the ongoing African Cup of Nations Tunisia with the same passion and enthusiasm that has been shown so far in the tournament.
Yesterday, Tunisia emerged as Nigeria’s next opponents in the competition after the Carthage Eagles finished third in their group behind Mali and Gambia. Last night, at the Limbe Omisports Stadium, Gambia secured an injury time winner over Tunisia to secure second place in the group and a match against the less-feared Guinea, while Mali will face Equatorial Guinea.
Tunisia, however, have the unenviable task of facing the dreaded Super Eagles in Garoua on Sunday after their loss yesterday. By far the most convincing team in the tournament so far, Nigeria has won all her three group games, securing a maximum of nine points, while Tunisia have been far from impressive, losing to both Gambia and Mali.
With defending champions Algeria out of the tournament, most commentators have now narrowed the favourites down to Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast and hosts Cameroon. However, interim head coach Mr Eguavoen, has said his wards will not be taking the Tunisian threat lightly come Sunday.
Pointing out that Nigeria will approach the clash in the same way the team has played so far in the tournament, Mr Eguavoen said his side would play with passion and style. He added that they will also practice penalties just in case the need arises.
Mr Eguavoen said: “Going into the round of 16, same approach, same system, same aggression and we are going to train more on penalties.”
So far, Nigeria has scored six goals in this tournament and only conceded one through a late penalty against Guinea-Bissau after an indiscretion by rightback Ola Aina. Super Eagles winger Moses Simon has also arguably been the player of the tournament so far with his dashing runs that have lit up games.
Round of final line-up:
Nigeria vs Tunisia – Sunday
Burkina Faso vs Gabon – Sunday
Guinea vs Gambia – Monday
Cameroon vs Comoros – Monday
Senegal vs Cape Verde – Tuesday
Morocco vs Malawi – Tuesday
Ivory Coast vs Egypt – Wednesday
Mali vs Equatorial Guinea – Wednesday