Super Eagles have arrived in Bloemfontein where they will clash with rivals Black Stars of Ghana in a semi-final clash on Wednesday in the African Nations Championship.
The team settled into the President Hotel and Conference Centre on arrival, alongside the Zimbabwean national team who will be playing the first semi-final at the Free State Stadium against Libya on Wednesday.
The Eagles who have said they now have their sights set on the trophy, resumed training on Monday. Team full back, Solomon Kwambe who is returning to action after serving his suspension following two bookings against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana expressed joy at the opportunity to play again. He promised to add high value to the team having rested very well.
He said, “I thank my mates for keeping us in the tournament in my absence and I promise that if I am picked for the semi-final game I will make up for my absence in the previous game.”
Eagles have been tipped to make a quality finish to the competition holding in South Africa after making a dramatic semi-final qualification. The Nigerians came from a 3-0 deficit on Saturday to beat the Atlas Lions of Morocco in their quarter-final match.
One of those backing the Eagles to excel is a former Nigeria coach Christian Chukwu who said on Monday that he was convinced the Eagles would defeat Ghana.
Chukwu told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the Eagles, being the highest-scoring side in the competition, would be able to break the defensive resilience of the Ghanaians.
He said, “I think our team is getting stronger and stronger because we’ve been playing against tougher oppositions as the tournament progresses. Our attack has been impressive and if they can continue with such free-scoring displays, we will beat the Black Stars convincingly in the semi-finals.
“No team has been able to match our goal-scoring record and I’m optimistic that more goals will be scored by this team.”
The former coach of Kenya, however, advised that the team must improve their defence, if they were to stand a chance of defeating the Ghanaians. He pointed out that even though they had won all their matches, the Ghanaian side had not proved itself as a prolific scoring side in the tournament.
“It is important we work on our defence and goal keeping department because we’ve conceded too many goals and we’ll need to be even more disciplined defensively now.”
The Eagles have so far scored 12 goals and conceded eight while the Black Stars have the best defensive record, having conceded a goal so far in the competition.