Nigeria striker and 1980 Africa Cup of Nations winner, Segun Odegbami, has tipped Nigeria and hosts Ivory Coast to face off in the final of the ongoing tournament on Sunday February 11, reports.
Both countries have met during the group stages when Nigeria won 1-0 at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Abidjan and might face each other in the final if they both win their semi-final matches on Wednesday.
Nigeria are scheduled to face South Africa in the first semi-final match at the Stade de la Paix, Bouake on Wednesday, while Ivory Coast will take on DR Congo in the second semi-final at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium in Yamoussoukro the same day.
Odegbami, who scored two goals in the 1980 final, has been vocal about Nigeria’s chances of winning a fourth AFCON title after successes in 1980, 1994 and 2013. Having tipped Nigeria for the title, he now feels they will come up against the hosts in the final and avoid a repeat of the 1984 final when the hosts beat Nigeria 3-1 in the final.
“I said long before the finals that we would be champions of Africa. Many people thought I was just sounding off. Now, they are seeing their light. Everyone appears to believe now that the Super Eagles can do it,” Odegbami told .
“Now that we are in the semi-finals, I am seeing that we are going to be playing the host nation, Ivory Coast in the final. We are beating South Africa and Ivory Coast will beat Democratic Republic of Congo. The stage is set for a classic final match on February 11.”
On the road to the semi-finals, Nigeria beat arch rivals Cameroon 2-0 in the round of 16 before seeing off Angola 1-0 in the quarter-final.
Ivory Coast, on the other hand have ridden on luck, emerging as the last best loser in the group stages before beating defending champions Senegal 5-4 on penalties in the round of 16 while they required some spirited display with 10 men to beat Guinea in the quarter-finals on Saturday.