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AFCON

'Nigeria Gaining Continent's Respect'

Nigeria head coach Augustine Eguavoen believes the Super Eagles are starting to gain respect from the African continent again following an impressive group-stage campaign at the Africa Cup of Nations.

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"Now, people are thinking and starting to respect Nigeria" was the standout statement from coach Eguavoen's post-game press conference after his side's 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday night.

That win for the Super Eagles in Garoua ensured that they are the only side from the 33rd edition of AFCON to win all three of their group matches, and the first Nigerian team to achieve this feat since they did it during the 2006 tournament.

Eguavoen highlighted his belief that many people within football were under the assumption that Nigeria would not perform at a high level at this tournament because of the team's recent form.

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"But again it is the same set of players who performed brilliantly well prior to the AFCON, the last one in Egypt and also a year or couple later," he said, according to the Daily Nigerian

"All of a sudden, things didn't go well as they were supposed to for some reason, and that's why people were trying to write Nigeria off.

"For the first game, nobody gave us a chance but we did the job collectively. And then, that game was gone. We had to put it behind us and then focus on the next game. Went ahead to beat Sudan and then put it behind us and then focus on the next game.

"Now, people are thinking and starting to respect Nigeria."

Despite all the praise the team has been receiving, Eguavoen is adamant the 2013 champions will treat every opponent from here on out with the utmost respect. 

The Super Eagles will not only be looking to go one step further than they did in 2006 and make the final, but do what they did in 2013 and win it all. 

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