BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
The Super Eagles on Sunday go into the Africa Cup of Nations for the 15th time. On seven instances, they crossed into the final. They will again be hoping to come Algeria at that same stage as they did at Maroc ’88 and cross into the final match holding next week Friday.
The Super Eagles are one of teams with most appearances in the competition. They amassed the most third-place position which they have obtained seven times.
For the Tunisia another North African side facing a West African challenge, 15 is also significant as it will be 15 years since they last got to the semi-finals.
After a disappointing group stage with three draws in as many games, Alain Giresse’s Tunisia will play this Sunday their seventh semifinal in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Captain Youssef Msakni and his teammates came back from a long distance. Carthage Eagles had to wait for the fateful shootout against Ghana to clinch their ticket to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
At this stage of the competition, the Tunisians began to fuel up and managed a convincing 3-0 victory over tournament surprise package Madagascar; the team that captured eyes and hearts.
For Ferjani Sassi, scorer against Madagascar, Tunisia is gaining strength especially after the three draws in the group stage.
“After three difficult matches in the first round, we gained momentum in the knockout stages. The bottom line for us now is qualifying in the semifinals, 15 years since we last did that”, he said.
This Sunday at the June 30 stadium in Cairo, Tunisia will have to fight against favorites Senegal. Carthage Eagles can count on the support of their fans since four charter flights are scheduled, two on Saturdays and two on Sunday, for the transport of fans willing to lend a hand to their national team.