Monday, April 22, 2024

AFCON 2023: Eagles Move To Bouake On Tuesday Ahead Of Bafana Clash

Interestingly, when Cote d’Ivoire hosted their only previous Africa Cup of Nations finals in 1984, Nigeria played their semi-final match against Egypt in Bouake.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will move to Bouake on Tuesday to continue their campaign at the ongoing 34th Africa Cup of Nations. 

The Nigeria national team, which has remained in Abidjan since their opening game, will leave Cote d’Ivoire’s commercial capital to face South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in the semi-final.

According to a statement issued by the Nigerian Football Federation Director of Media, Ademola Olajire, on Sunday, coach Jose Peseiro’s men will continue their preparations for the encounter in Abidjan on Sunday and Monday, and will only have the official training on arrival in Cote d’Ivoire’s second city on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Olajire noted that when Cote d’Ivoire hosted their only previous Africa Cup of Nations finals 40 years ago, Nigeria also played their semi-final match in the city of Bouake against Egypt.

In what was easily ranked as the match of the tournament, the Pharaohs, led by Mahmoud Al-Khatib and including Taher Abou Zeid, Magdi Abdel Ghani, Ali Shehata, Ibrahim Youssef, and goalkeeper Thabet El-Batal, led 2-0 before the half hour.

But Stephen Keshi pulled one back from the penalty spot before halftime and then made the inch-perfect pull-out from which Bala Ali netted the equaliser in the second half. Nigeria won the ensuing penalty shootout 8-7.

Nigeria’s squad that day included goalkeeper Peter Rufai, Kingsley Paul, Yisa Sofoluwe, Sunday Eboigbe, Humphrey Edobor, Chibuzor Ehilegbu, Ademola Adeshina, Mudashiru Lawal, Henry Nwosu, and Rashidi Yekini.

Many hope the Super Eagles will also triumph over Bafana Bafana on Wednesday in what is a direct repeat of the AFCON 2000 semi-final.

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