The Super Eagles are set to be rewarded by the Nigerian government for reaching the final of the ongoing 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Following a tense semi-final clash against South Africa at Stade de la Paix on Wednesday, Jose Peseiro's side held their nerve 12 yards to reach the grand finale of Africa's biggest football showpiece for the first since 2013 when they were last champions.
In the aftermath of a nerve-wracking victory over Bafana Bafana, a team of delegates from the Nigerian government led by vice-president Kashim Shettima visited the players in the locker room and promised to reward them for their heroics.
The Federal Govt has promised to reward the Super Eagles for their commitment and dedication in reaching the Final of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in CIV.
Vice President Kashim Shettima told the players and their officials in the dressing room, following their hard-fought… pic.twitter.com/8sVA8doTon
— 🇳🇬 Super Eagles (@NGSuperEagles) February 8, 2024
Shettima also told the players and their officials that the people of Nigeria are proud of their accomplishments so far heading into Sunday's final against tournament hosts Ivory Coast.
Super Eagles handed great incentive ahead of AFCON final
At the start of the current Africa Cup of Nations, not many would have tipped the Super Eagles to make it through to the final but the West Africans have silenced their doubters with a string of impressive performances.
Nigeria got their AFCON campaign underway with a disappointing 1-1 stalemate against Equatorial Guinea before narrowly seeing off the threat of Ivory Coast in their subsequent encounter.
With qualification for the round of 16 all but in the bag, Nigeria fielded a relatively weaker squad for their third group-stage involvement against Guinea-Bissau but did enough to claim a 1-0 victory and set up a knockout tie against Cameroon.
Just like in the 2019 AFCON, the Super Eagles sent Cameroon packing once again after which they edged out free-scoring Angola 1-0 to set up yesterday's meeting against South Africa.
Nigeria opened the scoring from the penalty spot midway through the second half thanks to William Troost-Ekong and looked to have put the game to bed four minutes from time when Victor Osimhen tapped in what seemingly looked like the clincher.
However, a foul in the build-up leading up to Osimhen's strike meant that the goal was cancelled and South Africa were awarded a penalty which Teboho Mokoena converted with aplomb to send the clash to extra time.
Neither team was able to find the breakthrough in the additional half hour and the game went to a shootout where Stanley Nwabali made two crucial saves from the first four spot-kicks, allowing Kelechi Iheanacho to convert the decisive penalty.
We are in the finals!!!!!!
— 🇳🇬 Super Eagles (@NGSuperEagles) February 7, 2024
As Nigeria prepare to take on Ivory Coast in the final, the Super Eagles can look back on their AFCON journey with great pride but victory on Sunday is all that matters right now.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago