AFCON 2023 final: Ex-Nigeria international tips Super Eagles to find it ‘easier’ vs Cote d’Ivoire than South Africa

The two West African powerhouses will lock horns in Abidjan on Sunday to determine the new champions of the continent

Former Super Egles goalkeeper Idah Peterside is convinced that Nigeria will beat hosts Cote d’Ivoire to win the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Soccernet.ng reports.

Nigeria, still unbeaten at the AFCON, will be keen to lift their fourth continental trophy when they meet Cote d’Ivoire in the final at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan on Sunday.

It is the second time the two former champions will meet at the tournament after a William Troost-Ekong penalty gave the Super Eagles a 1-0 win over the Elephants in their Group A clash on matchday two.

Nigeria have grown from strength to strength since then, registering impressive victories against Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon, Angola, and South Africa.

The semifinal match against the South Africans went into a penalty shootout after both teams played out a 1-1 draw in regulation and extra time.

The Bafana Bafana enjoyed more possession and fired more shots than the Super Eagles in that encounter, but goalkeeper Nwabali saved two penalties to propel Nigeria to the final.

Having watched how Cote d’Ivoire struggled to beat Mali and DR Congo in the quarterfinal and semifinal, respectively, Idah Peterside Idah expects Nigeria to confirm their superiority over the Ivorians in the title decider.

“We all knew this (South Africa) was going to be our toughest game,” Peterside told Channels Television.

“The game against Ivory Coast will be easier than this because we have beaten them already in our group game.

“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 have the best defensive record at the AFCON, keeping four clean sheets in six games.

The Super Eagles will count on the brilliance of reigning Africa Player of the Year Victor Osimhen to fire the goals needed to shoot down the host nation.

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