Nigeria defender Kenneth Omeruo says his team must do their utmost to avoid giving out fouls especially in dangerous positions when they face Algeria in Cairo on Sunday.
Both teams will clash in the second semifinal game of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 and Omeruo says the team’s head coach Gernot Rohr has told them the best way the Eagles can avoid being in perpetual danger against the Desert Foxes.
“One thing my coach has always said over and over again is; No fouls! Most especially around the box because we’ve had two goals (conceded) from these free kicks and they’re just easy free kicks so I think the best way is to stay focused and stay switched on,” said Omeruo at the pre-match press conference.
“They have quick players we know and we are also quick as well so we have to be very careful to make sure there is no contact especially around the 18 yard box.
“It’s football, it happens everywhere; attackers try to cheat, to fall down, to get fouls but the best way is to stay smart and think ahead before them,” added the Chelsea defender.
Nigeria had an extra day to recover ahead of Sunday’s game after playing their quarter final game against South Africa on Wednesday as against the Algerians who played on Thursday.
A difficult game is expected nonetheless and Omeruo who is one of just three players in the current squad that won the title in 2013 is looking forward to it.
“With all seriousness, Nigeria is a very difficult side as well so we’ve recovered. We’ve been recovering for the past two days to make sure that everyone is ready and fit for tomorrow (Sunday)’s game and we’re looking forward to it,” stressed the 25-year old.
Nigeria have won all the games that Omeruo featured in at this AFCON tournament and the central defender is expected to start Sunday’s game which will start at 9:00PM local time (8:00PM Nigerian time).
Fisayo Dairo reporting from Cairo