NIGERIA’S Super Eagles will face the challenge of African champions, The Chipolopolo of Zambia in the Group C of the 2013 Africa Nations Cup in South Africa.
The draw for the event picked at the International Convention Centre, Durban, South Africa, also has Ethiopia, and Burkina Faso in the same group as Nigeria.
Tribunesport reports that Nigeria has a favourable record over its group opponents in Nations Cup history.
The last time Nigeria won the Nations Cup way back in 1994, it was at the expense of the Chipolopolo in the edition held in Tunisia.
Early this year, the Eagles drubbed the Chipolopolo 2-0 in Kaduna when the Zambians were preparing for the 2012 Nations Cup in Equatorial-Gabon, where they emerged eventual winner.
At Libya ’82 Nations Cup, current Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi scored two goals as Nigeria pounded Ethiopia 3-0 in a group game.
Nigeria defeated Burkina Faso 4-2 at Ghana ’78 Nations Cup in a first group B match.
Meanwhile, former Bafana Bafana of South Africa’s coach, Clive Barker, says Nigeria will be desperate for the Africa Nations Cup title next year in South Africa.
Barker told Sportswriters yesternight in Durban that the Eagles were still smarting from missing out from the 1996 edition and will come out smoking come January.
”I look out for a strong Nigerian campaign,”Barker, who led the Bafana Bafana to the 1996 continental success stated.
”They could not defend the Nations Cup title on this soil far back in 1996 and that hurt in a lot of ways. They were brimming with enthusiasm and players like Rashidi Yekini, George Finidi, Victor Ikpeba and Jay Jay Okocha were expected to hike the stake but then a government intervention stopped the spectacle for Africa.
”Quite a number of Nigerians believe the Eagles were the favourites, I also thought so but then we beat Cameroun, Ghana and Tunisia to win the cup. Nigeria could have been beaten as well,” he contended.
Tribunesports recalls that former military ruler, the late Sani Abacha, disallowed Nigeria from defending the African title due to diplomatic row between Nigeria and South Africa.
Nigeria in 1994 beaten Zambia to win the 1994 Nations Cup in Tunisia.
Group A Group B Group C Group D
S/Africa Ghana Zambia Ivory Coast
Cape Verde DR Congo Nigeria Togo
Morocco Niger B/Faso Algeria
Angola Mali Ethiopia Tunisia