Eguavoen Anticipates Tough Game Against Tunisia.
Augustine Eguavoen, the manager of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, says he expects a tough match between his team and Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 match in Garoua.
Tunisia’s campaign was hampered by positive COVID tests, and the squad only advanced to the knockout stage as one of the best losers, placing third behind The Gambia and Mali and winning only one of their three matches while losing the other two.
The coach said, “I expect a very tough game against the Tunisians. Our group will not be lulled into any sense of superiority over any team here until we do the business on the field. Tunisia is a big name in African football and we must acknowledge that, despite the manner in which they reached this stage.
“We have watched some of their games and from what we know of them in the distant past and in lucid memory, they are never a team to take for granted.”
Eguavoen’s 51 caps for Nigeria did not include a match against Tunisia, but he was the Super Eagles’ head coach when Nigeria beat the Carthage Eagles on a penalty shootout at Port Said, Egypt, 16 years ago to knock the Cup holders out in the quarterfinals.
“That was a huge, huge game and a memorable one for me. The match ended 1-1 in regulation and extra time and we had to go into penalties. We lost two of our first three kicks or something like that and then bounced back when our goalkeeper (Vincent Enyeama) stopped two of their kicks. It was a sweet victory,” Eguavoen told NFFTV.
Nigeria completed their group phase with three victories out of three and on Sunday head to the Stade Roumdé Adjia for the Round of 16 clash. Tunisia only defeated Mauritania while losing to Mali and The Gambia. Coaches from both nations lead their respective countries. Tunisia’s bench will be manned by Mondher Kebaier.
The game would be Eguavoen’s 16th for Nigeria, spanning three stints in which he has won 13 of the previous 15, with only two tight defeats. He is also the only coach to have led Nigeria to victory in all three group stage matches at the AFCON, a feat he accomplished in both of his AFCON odysseys in 2006 and 2022.