Nigeria’s Super Eagles have been fixed to take on the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia on the opening day of the knockout phase of the on-going 33rd Africa Cup of Nations’ tournament in Cameroon.
While the Eagles enjoyed a perfect run into the knockout phase with three wins in three games, the North Africans barely scraped through.
The Carthage Eagles who finished third in Group F had a tough AFCON 2021 experience, falling 1-0 to Mali in their opening game that was filled with controversy before thumping Mauritania 4-1 in their next game.
Just before the game against Gambia that ended in a 1-0 loss for the 2004 winners, half of the squad tested positive for Covid-19 which meant they had to prosecute a must win match with a depleted squad.
They come up against a much fancied Super Eagles side that breezed through their group, collecting all available nine points and conceding just once from the spot.
The clash between Nigeria and Tunisia will be a repeat of 2006 tournament in Egypt where the Maghreb side travelled to face Austin Eguavoen tutored team at Port Said stadium which Nigeria won via a lottery of penalty shoot-out after 1-1 scoreline at regulation time.
The two sides met at the last tournament in 2019 in Egypt with Super Eagles winning the classification match courtesy of Odion Ighalo’s early strike at Al-Salam stadium in Cairo.
In other second round pairings, Burkina Faso will take on Gabon in the opening match of the round before Nigeria play Tunisia two hours later (8pm) in Garoua.
Other fixtures will see hosts Cameroon play debutants Comoros while Senegal face Cape Verde. Ivory Coast will tackle Egypt with Morocco trading tackles with Malawi. The Gambia versus Guinea fixture will cap play in this Last 16 stage.