Nigeria head coach Augustine Eguavoen says his side know what it means to reach the round of 16 of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON2021) and will give it all it takes.
The Super Eagles face the Carthage Eagles on Sunday night in their round of 16 encounter having won all their three group stage games in Group D.
Speaking with www.aclsports.com on Saturday night, Eguavoen says his team will approach Sunday’s game the same way they have approached others.
“It’s good to top the group with nine points and (qualify for) the round of 16. We all know what it means, everybody knows what it means, the coaches, the players and the entire staff know what it means.”
“We will go there to win. This is the way we’ve always approached every game and that is not going to be different from this one.
“You lose the game, you go home and if you win, you continue in the tournament so that’s why we have to treat this game with the same respect, same approach and same determination,” said Eguavoen.
Eguavoen rested as much as six first team regulars in their win over Guinea-Bissau in the final group game and he is expected to recall some of them, including goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, defender Kenneth Omeruo and forward Taiwo Awoniyi.
The former defender says he will parade a competitive team no matter who is selected.
“We made a lot of changes in the last game because we wanted to give everybody the opportunity to play and when the time comes for us to substitute, we won’t think twice.
“Now we know the level which everybody is at and come tomorrow we will come up with a different lineup but whichever lineup we bring will be ready to compete,” said Eguavoen.
Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi who has played every minute of their campaign in the tournament so far also reiterates that his side will face Sunday’s game with the same mentality.
“This is the reason we’re here. We’re here to compete and that we do as much as we can to win games so as the coach said, it’s not different to other games.
“We approach the games as they come. It’s a different opponent so we have a different approach but for us it’s the same mentality, we keep going game after game,” says the Leicester City star.
Nigeria vs Tunisia is the second round of 16 game that will be decided on Sunday at the Stade Roumdé Adjia in Garoua, Cameroon starting from 8pm local time.
Fisayo Dairo, reporting from Garoua