24 January 2014

Nigeria/Morocco: Morocco, Nigeria Clash - Match of the Tournament?

Morocco coach Hassan Benabicha said Saturday's Chan quarter-final clash between Atlas Lions and the Super Eagles of Nigeria at Cape Town Stadium might turn out to be the match of the tournament.

Benabicha whose side walloped Uganda 3-1 in the last Group B match to top the standings and book a date with Nigeria said his side had been improving with each outing so were the Super Eagles.

Morocco had drawn 0-0 with Zimbabwe before wasting a glut of chances when they allowed Burkina Faso to come from behind and hold them to a 1-1 draw in the opening two games.

"The two games against Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso were wake up calls for us. We however, showed against Uganda what we are capable of doing. The match against Nigeria should be the match of the tournament; talk of a final before the final and this is it," said Benabicha.

"We all had a slow start but are picking at the right time. We should provide the spectators with a really treat of a game. I personally am relishing the prospect of this encounter," he said.

The Moroccan coach said what makes Saturday's match intriguing was the fact that both Morocco and Nigeria were picking up momentum just at the right time.

The Super Eagles lost their first encounter 2-1 to surprise packets Mali before edging Mozambique 4-2 in the second game. They then came with guns blazing knocking out hosts South Africa with a clinical performance.

That performance led to Stephen Keshi, the Nigerian coach to warn other contenders that in this mood, the Super Eagles might be the team to beat in the competition.

Although he refused to openly boast about his swashbuckling side, Keshi said he was taking each game at a time.

"We don't want to talk much; we would prefer to do all the talking on the pitch," he said adding goalkeeper and captain Chigozie Agbim might central to his team going all the way.

"He had a slow start but made some very outstanding saves against Bafana Bafana. Such heroics are makings of a champion," he said..

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