10 years on! Can Peseiro supplant the 2013 AFCON success


On this day in 2013 Stephen Keshi led Nigeria to an unprecedented AFCON title, bringing the nation it’s third African Cup of Nations title.

That team was a blend of home based players and foreign base players and despite a shaky group stage start the Super Eagles kicked off and powered through to the title.

The closest Nigeria have gotten to since that triumph in South Africa has been a third place finished achieved under Gernot Rohr in 2019. The team’s most recent outing was a round of 16 elimination against Tunisia despite having a perfect Group stage run; winning three out of three games during the reign of Augustine Eguavoen.

Fast forward 10 years from 2013 and the National team is having its sixth manager at the helm trying to find a solution to what has been a problem of identity, as the Super Eagles helplessly watched other nations excel effortlessly.

Sunday Oliseh, Gernot Rohr, Austin Eguavoen have all be tasked with ending the AFCON title drought since the success of 2013, but no one has been able to lead the Nation successfully.

After the disastrous AFCON outing followed by the World Cup qualifiers elimination against Ghana, the NFF turned to Jose Peseiro and despite not really starting greatly; losing five international Friendlies, the Portuguese have been charged with ensuring qualification to the next AFCON tournament, which will be hosted by Ivory Coast.

In terms of the qualifiers Jose Peseiro has made light work of Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe and with the third round against Guinea Bissau coming up next month, the Super Eagles are expected to tighten their grip towards qualification.

If Peseiro is to lead the Nation to success in Ivory Coast he will have to contend with major power houses in African football.

Senegal are the defending champions and have gotten to the final in each of the last two tournaments. Morocco will be coming off the bounce of their recent World cup success and no one definitely can’t write off teams like Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Ghana and Cameroon.

Right now the Gaffer boasts of two of in form forwards; Victor Osimhen and Ademola Lookman, while the support cast of Paul Onuachu, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon and Samuel Chukwueze are not doing badly either.

On paper the Super Eagles are strong enough to wrestle all comers, but the onus is on Jose Peseiro to find a winning formula and to find it fast.

One worrying sign has probably been the timid display of the Eagles in high profile games as they recently lost to Portugal, Costa Rica, and Algeria without much of a fight.


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