By Stephen Amos, sheggs.blogspot.com
Ghana will face West African rivals Nigeria in Thursday's Africa Cup of Nations semi-final clash at the Estadio de 11 Novembro in Luanda.
Nigeria progressed to the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals by beating Zambia 5-4 on penalties and will meet Ghana in the semi-finals on Thursday.
It took 120 minutes and a penalty shoot out for the Eagles of Nigeria to fly past the Chipolopolo of Zambia and qualify for the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola. Nigeria got the advantage after Nyirenda missed the third spot kick for Zambia. Super Eagles' goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeam secured a win by for Nigeria by scoring the last spot kick to make the shoot 5-4 in favour of the Eagles.
Everton FC's striker, Yakubu Aiyegbeni is the stand-in captain of the super eagles after injury ruled out substantive captain Joseph Yobo earlier in their group match against Benin. In an interview with Boss Fm's(in Ghana) sports desk, Yakubu spoke of the rivalry between the two big football nations on the continent and expectations of Thursday's titanic encounter.
"We are not going on a revenge mission. It is no revenge. Ghanaians are like our brothers. We are very close and whenever Nigeria plays against Ghana, it is a big rivalry. They did so well the last time in 2008 as the host country, we got beaten by them and hopefully now that we have got the opportunity to play them, we hope to beat them and do them the same."
He went on to make a statement of intent on the ongoing tournament as to wanting to play in the finals.
"Of late, we find it difficult in the nations cup and we just were unlucky the last time we went out when Ghana beat us but hopefully, i hope it is not going to be the same. We want to play in the finals."
"We want to win the cup and we have teaams like Ghana, they are a good team and even Egypt too. They are are all good teams and it is not going to be easy but for us, we are going to win. Our mentality is going there to win and fight for each other, hopefully we get to the finals and there, we will see how it goes."
Egypt will meet north African rivals Algeria, in a repeat of their tense and controversial World Cup play-off match in November, which saw Algeria progress to South Africa.