Nigerians celebrate as national team push through to Afcon semis

Thursday July 11 2019

Nigeria's players celebrate their opening goal during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final match against South Africa at Cairo international stadium on July 9, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE |

Nigeria's players celebrate their opening goal during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final match against South Africa at Cairo international stadium on July 9, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE |  AFP

MOHAMMED MOMOH
By MOHAMMED MOMOH
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ABUJA,

Hundreds of fans poured into Nigerian streets late Wednesday night to celebrate the Super Eagles 2-1 victory over South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in the quarter finals match of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt.

A goal in each half of the match, from Samuel Chukwueze and William Troost-Ekong, saw Nigeria eliminate South Africa from the tournament and advance to the semi-finals.

In Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated the team and expressed hope that they would lift the cup.

In a congratulatory message issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, President Buhari said the mission of having “the trophy in our hands for the fourth time is almost accomplished for the high-flying Eagles”.

He urged the team and their handlers to remain focused and disciplined.

President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, said the Super Eagles victory has reinforced the confidence of Nigerians in the team winning.

“Nigerians have never doubted your commitment and patriotism in making Nigeria proud in the field of soccer, and I urge you not to relent until you achieve total victory,” he said, noting that football was one of the things that united the country.

HOPE FOR A WIN

Football fan Kayode Agboola said: “It’s a case of senior brother beating his younger brother and I am happy Nigeria lived up to expectation.”

Samson Amoo, said he was very impressed with the team, especially the young star Chukwueze for his brilliant performance.

“Super Eagles are really superb with the way they have been approaching each game, and beating their rivals; it gives me the confidence that they will reach the finals.

“I want to commend the coach, Gernot Rohr, and his technical team for their strategies, they are really working, and thus have also built confidence in Nigerians that the Eagles can win the cup,” he said.

Mr Eche Amos, a sports writer and analyst, said: “The Eagles first approached the game with vigour, [and] deployed their tactical ability which paid off.”

“The Eagles worked harder, physically, and showed the South Africans that winning [the game with] Egypt couldn’t have been replicated against them.”

Super Eagles’ deputy captain Ahmed Muse said patience was the key to the team’s victory.

During a post-match interview, he said: “We knew that the game against South Africa would be tough and not an easy ride. So, we reminded ourselves of the need to be patient as we worked towards achieving our goal. As you can see, we had to wait until the last minute to score the decisive goal and that is the most important thing.”

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