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AFCON 2021: High flying Nigerian Super Eagles take on limping Tunisia



The Super Eagles of Nigeria will be facing Tunisia’s Eagles of Carthage as the round of 16 of the 2021 AFCON rolls off this Sunday January 23 at the Roumdé Adjia Stadium.

Nigeria, three time winners have so far put up eye catching performances in all their games as they topped the group with nine points obtained from three outings.

The Super Eagles started with a narrow 1-0 win against Egypt at the Roumdé Adja Stadium, went on to win 3-1 against Sudan and concluded with a 2-0 over Guinea Bissau at the same stadium.

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This was the second time in their AFCON history they progressed to the knock out stages of the tournament with maximum points, with the first one coming in 2006 in Egypt where they topped group D with 9 points after beating Senegal, Ghana and Zimbabwe.

Nigeria have not looked to be a one dimension team and have had many match winners like Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze, Taiwo Awoniyi, Moses Simon, Umar Sadiq and skipper William Troost-Ekong as they have all netted six goals in the group stages.

Moses Simon also had 15 successful take-ons at the tournament so far which is more than five entire teams that ideally play with 10 out field players.

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Nigeria stand-in coach Augustine Eguavoen has been able to keep all his players fresh unlike their Tunisian opponents who have been hit with players testing positive for COVID-19.

A head of this fixture, Eguavoen said he will approach the game with the same winning mentality though tactics might be different.

 “They have ups and downs in the campaign but to have qualified for the knockout stage is a different ball game. If you don’t get the round of 16 well, you are off and if you do, you are off to the quarter finals. It will be a very different game, so we will find a way to counter them during the game.”

Said Eguavoen

Tunisia were welcomed to the tournament with a 1-0 defeat against 10 man Mali in Limbe before bouncing back with a 4-0 win against Mauritania but lost again 1-0 to the debutants Gambia.

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Tunisia’s Wahbi Khazri has been involved in three goal-ending sequences which is the joint tournament lead despite playing 170 minutes. Without him, Tunisia lost to Gambia and slipped to third place in group F.

Head to Head at AFCON

1978: Nigeria 2-0 Tunisia (Accra)

2004: Tunisia 1-1 Nigeria (Tunis) *Tunisia won 5-3 on penalties

2006: Nigeria 1-1 Tunisia (Port Said, Egypt) *Nigeria won 6-5 on penalties

2019: Nigeria 1-0 Tunisia (Cairo)

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