An age-longed rivalry in African football will be rekindled as Hassan Benabicha’s side hope to arrest Super Eagles juggernaut for a place in the CHAN semi-final.
Nigeria will hope to justify their blistering form in the African Nations Championship by caging the Atlas Lions of Morocco for a place in the last four of the biannual Africa football showpiece on Saturday evening.
As the kickoff of this cracker inches nearer, the question begging for answer is: Who will laugh last? Is it the Super Eagles that boast of a very potent attack that is capable of scoring goals aplenty or will it be the Atlas Lions that has one of the best defence in the tournament?
Whichever way, 90 minutes of action-packed moments at the Cape Town Stadium will decide.
The Eagles inspired by Ejike Uzoenyi’s brace in their last group game against hosts South Africa ensured the Super Eagles booked a ticket to this stage after a dreary display against the Les Aigles of Mali in their opening fixture against Mali – a game that raised questions about Nigeria’s chances of getting to the knock-out stage.
For the north Africans, they have the Cranes of Uganda to thank for their unpardonable misses and poor defending when they squared up in Group B’s last game, otherwise Benabicha’s side would have got no business at this stage of the competition.
Nigeria face a Moroccan side that is yet to lose a game from the qualifying series of the tournament and also went unbeaten with one win and two draws from their three fixtures in Group B of the CHAN.
The northern Africans were given a stern test by Zimbabwe in their 0-0 draw at the Atlone Stadium plus a 1-1 draw against the Stallions of Burkina Faso.
Keshi will be without reliable defender Solomon Kwambe, who was sent off for a second bookable offence against Bafana Bafana. Even with this minor setback, the ‘Big Boss’ is positive that his men will emerge victorious.
Mouchine Iajour won the bronze ball at the Fifa World Club Championship and will be the man to watch out for in the Atlas Lions’ den. Apart from his flair for scoring goals, his can subvert the feather weight Nigeria backline.
In 18 appearances between these two sides, Morocco boast of eight wins against Nigeria’s six with the draw on four occasions.