Former Super Eagles goalkeeper Idah Peterside is confident that the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final will be easy for Nigeria .
Nigeria has maintained an unbeaten streak at the 2023 AFCON, and are determined to secure their fourth continental trophy in the final showdown against Cote d’Ivoire at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan on Sunday, February 11, 2024.
This encounter marks the second meeting between the two former champions at the tournament, following the Super Eagles’ 1-0 victory over the Elephants in their Group A clash, courtesy of a William Troost-Ekong penalty on matchday two.
Since then, Nigeria has put in remarkable performances, securing victories against Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon, Angola, and South Africa.
The semifinal clash against South Africa, which ended in a 1-1 draw in regulation and extra time, saw Nigeria triumph in a penalty shootout, with goalkeeper Nwabali making crucial saves.
Observing Cote d’Ivoire’s struggles against Mali and DR Congo in the quarterfinal and semifinal respectively, Peterside anticipates Nigeria’s dominance in the title decider.
“We all knew this (South Africa) was going to be our toughest game,” Peterside said on Channels Television. “The game against Ivory Coast will be easier than this because we have beaten them already in our group game.”
He continued, “They (Ivory Coast) only survived by sheer luck to get here. I watched the game against Congo yesterday. They are not as good as we are. They just wobbled and fumbled into the final, and they will be under pressure. The final game will be so easy; I say it again, and we will win easily.”
Nigeria boasts the best defensive record at the AFCON, having kept four clean sheets in six games.