If Super Eagles beat Angola’s Palancas Negra on Friday in one of the quarter final matches of the ongoing 34th Africa Cup of Nations in Côte d’Ivoire, it will not only be a sweet revenge for stopping Nigeria from qualifying for 2006 World Cup in Germany, the Jose Peseiro wards stand to reap a bountiful $1.3million USD (about N1.157billion going by I & E window closing price on Monday).
Angola famously stopped Nigeria from reaching the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, when the Super Eagles followed a 0-1 loss in Luanda to a draw 1-1 with the Negras in a sunny Sani Abacha Stadium in June 2005.
According to the prize money layout for this tournament by Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), the Super Eagles have earned $800,000 in prize money for getting out of the group stage while another win on Friday in their quarter-finals clash with Angola will raise their take-home to S1.3million.
At the last edition Cameroon 2021, Super Eagles returned home empty handed after an impressive group stage and an appalling Round of 16 they were ousted by Tunisia.
CAF admitted to having a 40% improvement in the prize money. The continental body was equally gave a consolation bonus of $700,000 to the two teams that placed third in their respective groups but failed to make it to the Round of 16.
The two teams are Ghana and Zambia in Groups B and F respectively. The two teams that fail to go beyond the semi-finals will each get $2 5million. The cup winner will get $7 million while the runners-up will take $4 million, a princely sum worthy for the players to fight for.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s on-field Captain William Troost-Ekong has hinted that the match against Angola could prove to be the toughest yet for the Eagles, but that himself and team mates are ready for the battle.
“We can no longer expect any easy games. In truth, there have not been easy games here. We have played Equatorial Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau and Cameroon, and none has turned out to be a picnic. From the quarter-finals, it will be a lot tougher because all the teams will believe they are good enough for the trophy.
“We are discussing among ourselves what we have to do. There is no resting on our oars. We saw Guinea eliminate Equatorial Guinea that emerged the best team of the group phase. Football is like that. We must be alert for the entire period and do our best to convert the chances that we create,” stressed the central defender who plays his professional football with PAOK in the Greek league.
Nigerian football fans also recall with nostalgia how Eagles Star, Samuel Okwaraji died during a 1990 World qualifier against Angola inside the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos. Nigeria won this return leg fixture 1-0 while the first leg ended 2-2 in Luanda.
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