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Peseiro warns Eagles against complacency against Angola

By admin Jan 30, 2024
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Super Eagles head coach José Peseiro has warned his team to keep a level head and manage the euphoria of their quarter-final qualification as they countenance a potentially tough last-eight clash with Angola’s Palancas Negras on Friday.

The Portuguese gaffer told thenff.com on Monday that he has continued to sing it to the players that the team is yet to win anything and that full consciousness and concentration must be activated ahead of Friday’s encounter at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny.

“I am telling them that we are only in the last eight, that we still have some way to go, and that the farther we go, the tougher the opposition becomes. We have played four matches and won three, so we must keep level heads as we go forward.

“Our philosophy is that there are no small teams here at the Africa Cup. Every team qualified to be here, and every team in the knockout phase qualified from a group phase.

“Any team in the last eight is good enough for the trophy. We believe we are good enough for the trophy, but we must continue working and putting out our best on match days.”

The Negras eliminated Namibia’s Brave Warriors 3-0 in the round of 16, with Gelson Dala hitting a brace at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake.

On-field captain William Troost-Ekong told thenff.com that the match against Angola could prove to be the toughest yet for the Eagles, but that he and his teammates are ready for the battle.

“We can no longer expect any easy games. In truth, there have not been easy games here. We have played Equatorial Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, and Cameroon, and none has turned out to be a picnic.

“From the quarterfinals on, it will be a lot tougher because all the teams will believe they are good enough for the trophy.

“We are discussing among ourselves what we have to do. There is no resting on our oars. We saw Guinea eliminate Equatorial Guinea, that emerged as the best team in the group phase.

“Football is like that. We must be alert for the entire period and do our best to convert the chances that we create.”

Winger Moses Simon also admitted that it would not be a stroll in the park at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny on Friday.

“It is going to be a difficult game, like the ones against Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, and even Equatorial Guinea. We must be at our best and focus on the prize.”

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READ ALSO: AFCON 2023: We know Angola’s match is going to be tougher – Coach Peseiro

Clashes between Nigeria and Angola at the international level have been few, but Nigeria has a couple of scores to settle with the southern African nation.

Angola edged Nigeria to reach the last round of the qualification series for the 1990 FIFA World Cup finals in Italy, but the return leg in Nigeria that the Eagles won 1-0 was under a cloud of tragedy as playmaker Samuel Okwaraji collapsed and died 13 minutes from the end on 12th August 1989.

Several other football fans lost their lives in a stampede that ensued after the game. The first leg in Luanda ended 2-2.

Angola also famously stopped Nigeria from reaching the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, when the Eagles followed a 0-1 loss in Luanda to draw 1-1 with the Negras in a sunny Sani Abacha Stadium in June 2005.


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