A former Nigerian international, Moses Kpakor, has said the Super Eagles are favoured by history to win their fourth Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title at the ongoing 33rd edition in Cameroon.
After two important victories against Egypt and Sudan, the three-time African champions have qualified for the Knockout stage of the competition.
Their last group match comes up against Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday in Garoua.
Speaking to Daily Trust yesterday, Kpakor who made his name when he ‘Policed and pocketed’ the legendary Rabber Madjer of Algeria at Algiers 1990, said going by available records, the Super Eagles stand a good chance of winning the title in Cameroon.
He said “Even before now, I gave the Super Eagles high chance of winning even ahead of Cameroon. Why did I say so? I looked at the record of Nigeria since 1980 when we first won the AFCON on home soil. After the victory in 1980, we didn’t reach the second round in 1982. We then bounced back to reach the finals in 1984.
“In 1986, we didn’t qualify but we reached the finals in 1988 in Morocco and Algiers 1990. In 1992, we reached the semi-finals. In 1994, we won our second title in Tunisia. We boycotted South Africa 1996 and were banned, so we missed the 1998 edition.
“We returned to reach the finals again on home-soil in 2000. After that, we reached the semi-finals in 2002 and won third place in 2004 in Tunisia.
“Now let’s look at the team’s AFCON record from 2004 to date. When you look at the trend, there is every reason to have confidence in the ability of the present Super Eagles to win in Cameroon. Super Eagles AFCON record is impressive,” said the former BCC Lions and Abiola Babes star.
Despite his optimism, Kpakor charged the Super Eagles not to drop their guard as he said there are still many battles ahead of them.
“I advise them to continue to concentrate. The battle is not yet over. This is because in a tournament when you start well, every team begins to plan against you.
“They should know that all eyes are on them. They should upgrade their game knowing that they will play against even the referees in future matches,” he said.