Olympics Eagles face South Africa U23 with a semifinal at stake at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations at Al-Salam Stadium in Egypt on Friday night.
Imama Amapakabo’s men started their campaign on a disappointing note going down to a 1-0 defeat against Cote d’Ivoire but they rallied back to beat Zambia 3-1 in the second game on Tuesday.The results mean South Africa top the group on four points, one more than the Ivory Coast and Nigeria, with Zambia bottom on a single point but all four teams can claim a place in the semi-finals with the final Group B games on Friday, who are also eyeing Tokyo 2020 Olympics ticket.
Nigeria have been boosted with the arrival of Mainz forward Taiwo Awoniyi and captain Okechwukwu Azubuike which lead the Olympics Eagles back to winning ways but Olisa Ndah returned after missing the Zambia game due to suspension.Teboho Mokoena’s free-kick goal gave South Africa a 1-0 victory over Ivory Coast but the midfielder who was a late arrival for finals because his club SuperSport United refused to release him before the tournament began, scored the winner on 79 minutes.
Mangers Quotes Imama Amapakano (Coach, Nigeria):
“It will be a tough match against South Africa but all the teams here have no alternative but to win. We have prepared well for that game and we know what remains to be done.
Azubuike Okechukwu (Midfielder, Nigeria):
After the victory against Zambia, we are in a good position. We must give our best against South Africa.
David Notoane (Coach, South Africa):
Nigeria is a very athletic and physical team, difficult to play against. But we will have our strategy to win this game.
Teboho Mokoena (Midfielder, South Africa):
We are ready to give the best of ourselves, it will be a difficult match but we are working well.
Nigeria 2-0 South Africa