'They cannot match us for skill' - Odemwingie reckons Super Eagles have advantage over CIV in AFCON finalPublished: February 10, 2024
Retired Super Eagles forward Osaze Odemwingie believes Nigeria have the advantage over Ivory Coast ahead of both sides clash in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday night.
Both sides had previously met on the second matchday of the group stage where the Super Eagles pipped the Elephants by a solitary goal, courtesy of William Troost-Ekong's strike from the penalty spot in the 55th minute of the game.
José Peseiro's side will finish second in the group, four points better than Ivory Coast, and have been unbeaten since then, triumphing over Cameroon in the round of 16, Angola in the quarterfinal, and South Africa in the semifinal.
Ivory Coast on the other hand finished as one of the best third-placed teams and have been growing in leaps and bounds, beating defending champions Senegal, Mali, and Dr Congo en route to the final.
"Hopefully, history repeats itself and we beat them once again in this tournament, I think we have the upper hand emotionally and maybe mentally because we know we have already had a good performance against them with the support of the crowd," Odemwinge said to Channels Television.
"So I think the boys will have it at the back of their minds that during this tournament, they have already won but you know at the same time you know a very good start is very important.
"We have all the talents. We have a team with more talented players than Cote d'Ivoire. If we match them physically, they cannot match us for skill and that would be my hope that all these skills you know come out in the game because we want to unlock their defense.
"They conceded four goals against Equatorial Guinea, so there are places to exploit and I am sure they will show them the images of where those goals came from, and hopefully, our boys will do the same thing and use those key weak areas in their team because scoring will be important and if we can score first, obviously it will us you you know to keep their fans and all home support quiet."
Odemwingie represented Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations four times and won three bronze medals.
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