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2021 Africa Cup of Nations

Can Tunisia Dash Nigeria’s Hopes?

Tunisia and Nigeria will do battle for a place in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals when they meet at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Cameroonian city of Garoua on Sunday.

Kick-off is scheduled for 19h00 GMT.

The Carthage Eagles sneaked into the knockout stages as one of the best-ranked third-placed teams, after finishing third in Group F, having managed to garner only three points from three matches.

The 2004 Africa Champions emerged victorious against unfancied opponents Mauritania and lost to Mali and Gambia in the other two games.

Tunisia’s campaign has been ravaged by Covid-19 with eleven of their players and their coach Mondher Kebaier set watch the match on television as they have returned positive results.

The players are captain Wahbi Khazri, Aissa Laidouni, Dylan Bronn, Ghaylène Chaalali, Ellyes Skhiri, Anis Ben Slimane, Mohamed Romdhane, Ali Maâloul, Ben Hmida, Aymen Dahmen  Yoann Touzgha and Issam Jebali.

Their opponents Nigeria, who have not reported any Covid-19 case on their camp, progressed into the Round of 16 after winning Group D ahead of runners-up Egypt.

Following their unbeaten run in the group stages, Nigeria will be motivated after beating Sudan, Guinea Bissau and the Pharaohs respectively.

Super Eagles manager Augustine Eguavoen says he countenances a tough duel between his charges and Tunisia.

“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,” said coach Eguavoen.

“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.”

Nigeria will count on Nantes winger Moses Simon, Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Troost-Ekong as they seek to continue with their unbeaten streak in Garoua.

The Super Eagles recent meeting with Tunisia came in an international friendly in October 2020 when goals from Kelechi Iheanacho and Mohamed Drager saw parity restored in a 1-1 draw.


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