Nigeria goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali has warned Ivory Coast that just because they are hosting the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) doesn’t mean they will win all their matches.
The two former African champions meet in their second Group A match on Thursday evening in Abidjan with the Super Eagles needing a win to give themselves a better chance of qualifying for the knockout phase, while the Elephants could seal their qualification with a win.
Nigeria were held to 1-1 draw by Equatorial Guinea with Nwabali in goals, while the hosts won 2-0 against Guinea-Bissau in their respective tournament openers. As a result The Elephants currently top Group A with three points, while Nigeria are third with a point.
The Chippa United keeper told iDiski Times that the history of the tournament doesn’t favour hosts and Ivory Coast would be fooling themselves to think they will have an easy stroll, especially against Nigeria.
“I understand Ivory Coast is the host team,” Nwabali told iDiski Times.
“I understand that but to me, if you check for more than six, seven, eight, nine years I have never seen a host that has won this trophy.
“So despite playing home or being the host team it doesn’t guarantee that you are going to beat everyone and you are playing a bigger side too.
“But you know when you win your first game and the other team draws their game and you are playing against them, the motivation of winning the first game will always come up. But I really want to say this they [Ivory Coast] should not sleep.”