AFCON 2023: Ola Aina Expresses Confidence Ahead of Nigeria’s Semifinal Showdown Against South Africa

AFCON 2023: Ola Aina Expresses Confidence Ahead of Nigeria’s Semifinal Showdown Against South Africa

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Nigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
South Africa logo
South Africa
South Africa
Ivory Coast logo
Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
Ola Aina logo
O. Aina
Nottingham Forest logoDNigeria logo
  • The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals are imminent
  • Nigeria’s clash against South Africa headlines the round
  • A Nigerian defender has expressed confidence ahead of the clash

As the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final looms closer, the tension in the air becomes even more palpable.

The clash between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana headlines the standout fixtures of the round as both former Cup of Nations winners renew another instalment of their age-long rivalry.

Nigeria, Super Eagles, AFCON, CAF, Angola, South Africa
Nigeria's Super Eagles players form a huddle during the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final clash against Angola. Image: Franck Fife.
Source: Getty Images

Nonetheless, amidst the crackling tension and anticipation swirling around this impending showdown, a defender from the Super Eagles radiates confidence and optimism, firmly believing in Nigeria's ability to emerge victorious against their South African adversaries.

Nigerian defender on AFCON clash

In the final pre-match press conference leading up to the highly anticipated fixture, Super Eagles defender, Ola Aina, exuded confidence in Nigeria’s ability to secure a crucial victory against the South Africans.

Addressing the press, Nottingham Forest fullback, Aina, as reported by Nigerian football expert, Poojamedia, remarked,

“Myself, I am very excited. It is going to be a good game between two good teams. I think myself and the team are ready for the challenge.”

The sentiments of the 27-year-old, who has showcased exceptional performances throughout the AFCON tournament, reflect the collective attitude of the Nigerian squad, who have consistently expressed optimism when questioned about their prospects against South Africa.

This self-assurance displayed by the Super Eagles players is further corroborated by historical data from previous encounters between the two teams. According to statistics from Sofascore, in the last 14 meetings, Nigeria has emerged victorious seven times, and South Africa twice, with five matches ending in draws.

While the outcome of this latest chapter in the rivalry remains unpredictable, it is undeniable that the stage is set for an exhilarating showdown between the two sides.

Aina takes bullet for Peseiro

In another report, Sports Brief highlighted the pivotal role played by Super Eagles defender Ola Aina in rescuing Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro during an uncomfortable moment in the final press conference before the clash with South Africa.

The former Chelsea defender's quick intervention eased a potentially awkward situation when the manager was confronted with a perplexing question, diffusing what threatened to become a tense atmosphere during the press conference.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).