Super Eagles defender, Kenneth Omeruo, says the team will not be drawn into any war of words with their quarter-final opponents, Angola, but insists that they will rather do their talking on the pitch, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Nigeria and Angola are set to vie for a semi-final ticket when they clash on Friday at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.
Nigeria beat Cameroon 2-0 in the round of 16 on Saturday to reach the last eight, while Angola thrashed Namibia 3-0 earlier in front of 28,663 fans at the Stade de la Paix.
While the Eagles are hoping to win the continental showpiece for the fourth time, it is the first time that the Black Antelopes made it to this stage of the AFCON in 14 years.
Ranked sixth in Africa and 42nd in the world, the Eagles are clear favourites over the Angolans, who are ranked 28th on the continent and 117th globally but a video of the team surfaced online with the captain Fredy Kulembe boasting that they would beat Nigeria.
Speaking ahead of the game, Omeruo said the Eagles would prefer to do their talking on the pitch when both sides meet on Friday.
“We have absolutely no need to go into back-and-forth chatter with any team. The Super Eagles are in Ivory Coast for serious business. We have not played Angola for a long time but I remember we played them in 2012 in a friendly and it ended in a draw. I have also read of how previous encounters between the two countries have been quite close.
“There is no possibility of Friday’s match ending in a draw; a winner must emerge. So much talk has been going on. Our collective resolve is to do the talking on the pitch. The Nigerian spirit trumps all.”
He added, “We drew our first match (against Equatorial Guinea) and many people concluded that we are not here to compete strongly for the trophy. They have since admitted that we may be up to something after we defeated Cote d’Ivoire, and then Cameroon. We must continue to work hard, believe in ourselves and put in a solid shift each day and time we get onto the field.”