By Wale Mustapha
Nigeria defender, Bright Osayi-Samuel has highlighted three major areas the team is working on to emerge victorious when they take on hosts Cote d’Ivoire in the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Abidjan on Sunday.
The grandfinale of the highly competitive tournament will make drawing of the curtain on the 34th edition of the continent’s premier soccer championship and a rematch between the two Group A rivals.
Osayi-Samuel had earned his first start in the semifinal win over South Africa and is hoping his side can achieve tournament’s double against the Ivorians in the final after their earlier 1-0 triumph in the group stage.
The Fenerbache right back, however advised his teammates to focus on themselves, mapping out a game plan to hurt the Ivorians.
“If you look around the group everyone’s confident, everyone’s looking forward to the game, me myself,” Osayi-Samuel told media.
“They (Ivory Coast) have got good players but like I said if we focus on ourselves, look at what we can do and how we can hurt them, then I think we have a very good chance of winning the game.
“It’s my first start in the knockout rounds so it’s a great feeling for me. In general we’ve played well in this AFCON so it’s positive in terms of the defence. Collectively we had many chances again.
“We know we will get chances every game with the quality that we have, it’s now about converting these chances. Overall the game was good and it’s a learning curve now to see what we can do better our next game.
“We know that comes with pressure but if you look at our group we have players with vast experience in this situation that we are in,” he concluded.