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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon: Burundi coach Olivier Niyungeko confident ahead of Nigeria showdown

22:17 GMT+3 21/06/2019
Olivier Niyungeko
The Swallows gaffer has buttressed on the need for his side to overcome timidity if they want to conquer the Super Eagles

Coach Olivier Niyungeko has prioritised the need to approach every African Cup of Nations game with confidence ahead of their opener against Nigeria on Saturday.

Burundi made history when they held Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Gabon to a 1-1 draw in Bujumbura on March 23.

The result ensured they qualifiedfor their first ever Afcon finals, after finishing second in their qualifying group behind Mali.

Ahead of what will be their debut game in Africa’s most prestigious football tournament, Niyungeko has tasked his men to show confidence in all their matches.

“When you get to this stage of the competition – you are free to dream for greater things,” he told Foot224 ahead of Burundi’s opening game of the tournament against the Super Eagles.

“You don’t have to go there [the Afcon] saying ‘I am with the top teams’. Qualifying to the tournament is not an easy thing. I tell my players, ‘you can achieve something great’.

“We have to show that what we did [in the qualifiers] was not by luck.

“We have to face every game with confidence in order to win matches.”

Burundi are pooled in Group B alongside fellow tournament debutants Madagascar, Nigeria and Guinea.