As Nigeria's Super Eagles prepare to take on Africa's top ranked team Cote d'Ivoire on Sunday night in Rustenburg for the chance to reach the AFCON semi-final, ex-Nigeria star Jonathan Akpoborie says the team will need a miracle to beat Ivorians on Sunday.
Straight-talking Akpoborie said that as a Nigerian he would wish the Eagles are crowned African champions in South Africa, but if the team play the way they have in all their group games against the Elephants, they will exit the tournament.
"The Eagles' performance against Ethiopia was nothing to write home about. The only good thing about the game for us is that we won. How we scored against the lowest-rated team at the competition was not the best," said the former Wolfsburg striker.
"On paper Cote d'Ivoire are favourites to win the competition, and on the field, they have been acting like that too. But in football anything could happen.
"Chances of Nigeria winning this one only Jesus can save. We need a miracle to beat them especially we play this match the way we played our last three matches."
However, Akpoborie has singled out Chelsea winger Victor Moses for special mention in South Africa: "I told you before the tournament that Moses will play a big part for Nigeria and he has been doing well, while Ahmed Musa has been the most disappointing player in the team after so much was expected of him," remarked the former international.
Emenike talks tough
But Spartak Moscow striker Emmanuel Emenike expressed confidence by saying the Eagles will defy the odds and oust favourites Cote d'Ivoire on Sunday.
The Super Eagles laboured to beat Ethiopia on Tuesday to set up a high-profile West African clash against the rampant Elephants, who stopped Nigeria at the 2006 and 2008 AFCONS.
Emenike added: "We are not afraid of them. We respect them, but why should we be afraid of them? This is football, and no team is too big and we are very positive we will win on Sunday."
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi also said his team are looking forward to Sunday’s AFCON quarterfinal against star-studded Cote d'Ivoire.
Both West African giants clash on Sunday night at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg for a place in the semi-finals.