Home Football AFCON 2023: Peseiro warns Eagles against complacency as Palancas Negras come calling
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AFCON 2023: Peseiro warns Eagles against complacency as Palancas Negras come calling

Jose Peseiro

Head Coach José Peseiro has warned his Super Eagles to keep level heads and manage the euphoria of their quarter-final qualification, as they countenance a potentially-tough last-8 clash with Angola’s Palancas Negras on Friday.

The Portuguese gaffer told thenff.com on Monday that he has continued to sing it to the players that the team is yet to win anything, and that full consciousness and concentration must be activated ahead of the evening encounter at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny.

“I am telling them that we are only in the last-8, that we still have some way to go, and that the farther we go, the tougher the opposition becomes. We have played four matches and won three, so we must keep level heads as we go forward.

“Our philosophy is that there are no small teams here at the Africa Cup. Every team qualified to be here, and every team in the knockout phase qualified from a group phase. Any team in the last-8 is good enough for the trophy. We believe we are good enough for the trophy, but we must continue working and putting out our best on match days.”

The Negras eliminated Namibia’s Brave Warriors with a 3-0 spanking in the Round of 16, Gelson Dala hitting a brace against the regional rivals at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake.

Angola edged Nigeria to reach the last round of the qualification series for the 1990 FIFA World Cup finals in Italy, but the return leg in Nigeria that the Eagles won 1-0 was under a cloud of tragedy as playmaker Samuel Okwaraji collapsed and died 13 minutes from the end on 12th August 1989. Several other football fans lost their lives in a stampede that ensued after the game. The first leg in Luanda ended 2-2.

Angola also famously stopped Nigeria from reaching the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, when the Eagles followed a 0-1 loss in Luanda to draw 1-1 with the Negras in a sunny Sani Abacha Stadium in June 2005.

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