Eagles striker Ikechukwu Uche goes for goal against South Africa in a 2015 AFCON qualifier in Uyo
Friday Jan 13, 2017. 08:56
Super Eagles assistant coach Imama Amapakabo has singled out Bafana Bafana of South Africa as the main rivals for qualification to AFCON 2019 in Cameroon.
South Africa stopped Nigeria to AFCON 2015 in Equatorial Guinea and both teams are again drawn in the same qualifying pool with Libya and Seychelles.
The overall winners of the 12 qualifying groups and three best runners-up will join hosts Cameroon for the tournament proper.
The qualifiers will start in June, according to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after yesterday’s draw in Gabon.
“This is a fair group. I am not taking anything away from the other teams, but I think South Africa will be the team for us to battle for the AFCON ticket,” Imama told AfricanFootball.com
“Not taking anything away from Seychelles and Libya. But we will play all the teams with the same level of preparation.”
Nigeria have failed to qualify for the last two AFCONs and so will be under added pressure to ensure they reach Cameroon 2019.
“I am confident we will scale through we cannot afford to miss out on three Nations Cup. So, it is must we will deliver the ticket,” said the coach.
“Do you know how painful it is now that the AFCON will start this weekend and Nigeria are not participating?
“We will get the ticket to AFCON 2019, I am very hopeful.”
By Kola Daniel