Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi is insisting that the team can handle the pressure of playing South Africa at the quarter finals of the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Speaking to Diegwusports.com upon the team’s arrival in Cairo, the veteran midfielder revealed that he and his teammates ‘know what to do’ to come out victorious on Wednesday.
‘It is a big match, no doubt. But we know what we have to do and we will do just that. Beating the defending champions has given us the confidence that we can all the way here,” said skipper Mikel Obi, who has announced that this would be his last AFCON expedition.
Mikel was reacting to the question on whether the team can go all the way and get a medal at the ongoing tournament.
Indeed, Saturday’s feat was the sixth time in history that Nigeria would be ejecting the Cup holders from the Africa Cup of Nations, and each time they did, they had gone ahead to finish on the podium – either as champions, runners –up or bronze medal winners.
In 1976 when they beat Cup holders Zaire (now DR Congo) in Ethiopia, Nigeria won bronze. In 1984, after beating Ghana in Cote d’Ivoire, they finished with the silver medals, and in 1994, they emerged champions after eliminating Cote d’Ivoire in the semi finals in Tunisia.
In 2004, the Eagles picked up the bronze medals after a sweet defeat of Cameroon in the quarter finals in Tunisia, and two years later, were again worth the bronze medals after penalty shoot out defeat of Tunisia in the quarter finals in Egypt.