Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro has thanked Chippa United for the discovery of Stanley Nwabali, who was a big star for the Super Eagles as they eliminated Bafana Bafana on penalties in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final on Wednesday.
Goalkeeper Nwabali was the hero in the shootout for the Super Eagles, denying Teboho Mokoena and Evidence Makgopa before Kelechi Iheanacho wrapped up the victory to clinch the final spot, earning the Man of the Match award.
Nigeria will now meet host nation Ivory Coast in the final at Olympique Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan on Sunday at 22:00 (SAST).
Meanwhile, Bafana will meet DR Congo in the bronze medal playoff at Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium also in Abidjan on Saturday at 22:00 (SAST).
After the game, Peseiro opened up on how Nwabali’s section came about when he didn’t feature for the Super Eagles in any of the qualifiers, with his only appearance before the AFCON coming in a friendly against Mexico in 2021.
“I received information from NFF [Nigeria Football Association] about this goalkeeper, I went to see him,” said Peseiro, who visited Nwabali at Chippa last year before he announced his final AFCON squad.
“I spoke to many and some of my friends, who are working in South Africa. I asked them about him, and I received the information. They sent me some videos, and some matches, after that I asked the NFF, if I could go and see him.
“I was there, I don’t know how many days. But I watched him at training, had meetings with him, and met with the coach.
“Chippa United, thank you very much Chippa United goalkeeper coach, staff. I concluded that this guy has the quality, and capacity to defend and fight with Francis Uzoho and he gets the number one spot.
“It is easy to scout him in South Africa and I don’t know why.”