Nigeria face hosts Ivory Coast in Sunday’s 10pm Africa Cup of Nations final at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, in a rematch of their tight Group A clash.
The Super Eagles, dominant throughout the tournament, secured their spot after a penalty shootout against South Africa, with Kelechi Iheanacho scoring the decisive spot-kick, as they now aim for their fourth continental crown and the first since 2013.
Speaking after his side’s dramatic win over Bafana Bafana, Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro says: “The players deserve to be in the final, it was a very good victory against a good team.”
Meanwhile, 1992 and 2015 champions Ivory Coast overcame managerial turmoil and a challenging journey, defeating Senegal and Mali to reach the final. Sebastien Haller’s goal against DR Congo secured their place in the showpiece.
Man of the Match against the DRC, Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie says: “We need to keep going like this because you can’t go all the way to the final only to then give up.”
Star Victor Osimhen overcame initial fitness concerns to lead the Nigerian attack against SA, and is set to do so again this weekend.
Suspended players Serge Aurier, Odilon Kossounou, and Oumar Diakite, meanwhile, return for the Elephants.
The teams share an identical head-to-head record (9-9) after Nigeria’s 1-0 group-stage victory, with a history of close clashes.