BY GODWIN AIKIGBE
Nigeria coach, Salisu Yusuf is confident his team can beat host nation Morocco in Sunday‘s African Nations Championship final starting 19:00 pm at Complexe Mohammed V, Casablanca.
The former Kano Pillars handler spoke to the press in Marrakech after they defeated Sudan 1-0 in the second semi-final on Wednesday despite playing with 10 men from the 56th minute following expulsion of midfielder Ifeanyi Ifeanyi for a second bookable offence.
Gabriel Okechuku’s 6th minute goal gave the Super Eagles victory against the North Africans over which they booked a place in the final for the first time in three attempts.
Salisu said he was proud of his charges for holding out for the win, as he looks forward to repeating same feat against the home team, who are enjoying massive support from home fans.
He said: “The boys have done very well. We have drawn one match and won other and came from behind to win on two of those occasions. The players deserve a pat on the back for not losing concentration against the Sudanese.
“We would be without two players in the final, with Ifeanyi Ifeanyi suspended and Sunday Faleye injured. There are other players who are not 100% fit that would hopefully be available on Sunday.
“Morocco are a good team, but they are beatable. They played goalless against Sudan at the group stage. My players have done excellently and I am confident they would do well against Morocco.”
Nigeria failed to reach the first finals of the tournament in 2009 and 2011, and will look to lay their hands on the trophy on Sunday. A third-place finish at the 2014 edition in South Africa had been their greatest achievement at the tournament that has held five times.
Libya and Sudan will face off in losers final in Marrakech on Saturday to determine who finish third.