Zaki says Stallions will fall
Lobi Stars' coach, John Zaki has said it will be unimaginable for Super Eagles to miss its third Africa's title at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Super Eagles on Wednesday booked their place in the final of the biennial football showpiece with an emphatic 4-1 win over the Eagles of Mali in the semifinals in Durban.
Overwhelmed by the sheer doggedness of the team in its last two games against Cote d' Ivoire and Mali, Zaki said the rate at which the side are improving by game clearly showed they will not let go the coveted trophy.
"I strongly believe as they're improving by game it'll be difficult for them to let go the Afcon cup.
"Self challenge has been tremendous and the answer to where they're at the moment.Nigerians never gave them any chance of success and its like they went out of their way to challenge themselves and it has worked miraculously.
"There has been steady improvement in the team since the Afcon championship started. First game against Burkina Faso was lacklustre and uncoordinated, the other games against Zambia and Ethiopia were far better and they're at their best against Cote d' Ivoire and Mali.
"So there is every pointer to the fact that they'll be excellent in the final and it'll be shocking if they didn't win the title," said the former Nigerian striker to supersport.com.
Zaki admitted that the domestic lads in the team have acquitted themselves handsomely, he however, singled out few as the players after his heart.
"I must confess that I'm impressed with the performance of the home-based players, no more would they be seen as second fiddle players but first and foremost as national team players.
"There input will forever bring competition into the team and subsequently makes it difficult for any player to stroll into the team to grab a sure shirt.
"All the players have done well but I think special mention must be made of Emmanuel Emenike, Victor Moses, Mikel Obi, Brown Ideye, Sunday Mba and Godfrey Oboabona. They've stamped their foot in their respective departments," he said.
Zaki will want Eagles' manager, Stephen Keshi to maintain same squad in the final.
"I think same squad used against Cote d' Ivoire and Mali will be ideal for the final clash. This squad gives hope that in four or five years together they'll be the team to beat in future championships," he said.