By Gbemidepo Popoola
The Super Eagles of Nigeria will arrive in the city of Bouake on Tuesday, to continue their quest at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cote d’Ivoire.
The Eagles are set for a mouth-watering first semi-final encounter of the 34th Afcon against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana.
The three-time champions will continue their preparations for the encounter in Abidjan on Sunday and Monday, and will only have the official training on arrival in Cote d’Ivoire’s second city on Tuesday afternoon.
When Cote d’Ivoire hosted their only previous Africa Cup of Nations finals 40 years ago, Nigeria also played their semi-final match in the city of Bouake, against Egypt.
In what was easily ranked as the match of the tournament, the Pharaohs, led by Mahmoud Al-Khatib and including Taher Abou Zeid, Magdi Abdel Ghani, Ali Shehata, Ibrahim Youssef, and goalkeeper Thabet El-Batal, led 2-0 before the half hour. But Stephen Keshi pulled one back from the penalty spot before halftime and then made the inch-perfect pull-out from which Bala Ali netted the equalizer in the second half. Nigeria won the ensuing penalty shootout 8-7.
Nigeria’s squad that day included goalkeeper Peter Rufai, Kingsley Paul, Yisa Sofoluwe, Sunday Eboigbe, Humphrey Edobor, Chibuzor Ehilegbu, Ademola Adeshina, Mudashiru Lawal, Henry Nwosu and Rashidi Yekini.