• Monday, March 04, 2024
businessday logo


We want to win the AFCON- Peseiro assures Nigerians

JosePeseiro-2 (1)

Super Eagles head coach, Jose Peseiro, has assured millions of Nigerian fans that three-time African champions are in Ivory Coast to win the AFCON title.

Nigeria will be playing their opening match of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations against Equatorial Guinea on Sunday at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium.

The Super Eagles are in Group A alongside the host nations Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea.

The 63-year-old Portuguese tactician heads to Ivory Coast for his first tournament as the coach of the Super Eagles since taking over as Super Eagles head coach on 15th May 2022.

Speaking in a pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s match, said millions of Nigerians want the Super Eagles to win the AFCON and pledge that the team will deliver in Ivory Coast.

“To play for Nigeria is not easy, 200 million football fans want to win and we need to answer with good results on the pitch.

“I don’t speak about our last results; I speak about how we can improve our results. We always create and we need that balance.

“We will give our best in tomorrow’s game.”

The Super Eagles lost one and won in their two friendlies played in Abu Dhabi in Dubai where the team camped in preparations for the tournament.

Under Peseiro’s watch, the Nigeria team has performed below expectations, won six, lost six and three draws.

But the Portuguese tactician remains resolute at winning the AFCON title for Nigeria.

Peseiro also confirmed the arrival of Paul Onuachu who was invited to replace Sodiq Umar and Kelechi Iheanacho at the team’s base in Ivory Coast, setting the stage for Nigeria’s opening AFCON 2023 clash on Sunday.

Speaking of a lack of steel in midfield and perceived weakness in sectors of the defence, Peseiro remained positive on the strength of his team.

“I believe in my team. Every team has what you may call frail areas, but the important thing is for the players to play for one another. We are positive.” Peseiro said.

“It is a 90-minute affair and it is always about who wants a win most. I have a group that has determination and discipline, flair and steel, and we believe we can go all the way in this tournament.”

The competition is also taking place in the country where Nigeria reached the Final on away ground for the first time, losing to an experienced and battle-hardened Indomitable Lions of Cameroon at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in the Ivorian capital.

Nigeria remains the country with the most podium appearances at the Africa Cup of Nations, having in addition to wins in 1980, 1994 and 2013, finished as runners-up in 1984, 1988, 1990 and 2000, and picked up the bronze medals in 1976, 1978, 1992, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2019, making for a total of 15 podium appearances in 20 finals.