Today’s semifinal cracker holding at the Cairo International Stadium is tagged: ‘Final before the final’ of the competition, and the Super Eagles have said that they know the task ahead of them.
Speaking at a pre-match conference yesterday in Cairo, Super Eagles defender, Kenneth Omeruo said they wouldn’t fall to the football antics of the Algerians, which they are known for.
“The Algerians are known for their football antics; trying to provoke opponents to commit fouls. But we will take care of it. Our coach always says no foul, particularly around the 18-yard box. That will be our weapon in the match against the Algerians. We will beat them to their antics,” he stated.
Omeruo, who scored Super Eagles’ lone goal in the second Group B match against the Syli Nationale of Guinea in Alexandria, however, stated that today’s match would be tough.
“Any opponent at this stage of the competition is a tough team. We watched the match between Algeria and Cote d’Ivoire, and we saw how the Algerians played. But the Super Eagles is equally a tough team. We have players, who are capable of handling any situation. I am sure we will beat Algeria.”
Coach Gernot Rohr said he would parade the best squad in today’s semifinal, saying: “We have given some young players the opportunity to prove themselves in this competition. This is the semifinal and we have to parade our best. So far, the players have given a good account of themselves in this competition. They have given good image of the country, fighting on. And we will continue to fight on until we win the trophy.”
Despite eliminating some heavyweights in the competition, including the defending champions, Indomitable Lions of Cameroun and ‘stubborn’ Bafana Bafana of South Africa, Rohr says the Eagles should not be tagged the favourite for the trophy. “All the four teams in the semifinal are favourites for the title. I can only say we are second favourite.”
Meanwhile, an Algerian player, Sidi Abed has declared that they would do everything to conquer the Eagles in today’s semifinal, saying: “Nigeria has good players, but we know where to go and how to go about it tomorrow (today).”