Football

Mikel wants Algeria or Ivory Coast in semi-final

Captain John Mikel Obi has expressed his delight at seeing the Super Eagles advance to the semifinals of Afcon 2019 at the expense of South Africa.

A goal each in either half from Villarreal youngster Samuel Chukwueze and Italy based defense Marshall William Troost Ekong helped Nigeria soar past the Bafana Bafana.

Mikel Obi recovered from injury in time for the match but was an unused substitute as South Africa almost forced the game into extra time, after a Bongani Zungu strike cancelled Chukwueze’s 27th minute opener.

With a minute of regulation time left, Troost Ekong scored a dramatic winner to set up a clash with the winner of the Algeria vs Ivory Coast tie.

Mikel Obi was asked which of the two sides he’d prefer to face, he said, “Algeria or Ivory Coast in the semi-final? It does not matter, we are focused on ourselves and we have only to keep working.”

Three goals and several decent chances were recorded in the game between Gernot Rohr’s men and the South Africans.

Mikel Obi has come out to admit it was a thoroughly enjoyable game against a worthy opponent. Speaking to Goal after the encounter, Mikel said,

“[It was a] very good match, we achieved our goal though our opponent was strong, we are a step closer towards winning the title.

“We have to keep our focus and move forward, the scenario was similar in 2013, and we had moved step by step to the title.

“I hope the support of the Egyptian fans will continue in the next games.”

The Super Eagles are looking to lift their fourth Afcon title.

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