AFCON 2024: Osayi-Samuel praises Super Eagles’ resilience and declares readiness for the final

Super Eagles defender Bright Osayi-Samuel described his feeling of advancing to the final of the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) as ‘amazing' after his exploits helped his side to a penalty shootout win over South Africa at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake in the semi finals.

The Fenerbahce player got the nod to start against South Africa following a late injury to regular starter Zaidu Sanusi. Bright started the game a bit unconvincingly but later settled with the rest of the team into the game. 

He would have been credited with an assist after a counter-attacking move by the team was finished off beautifully by current African Footballer of the Year Victor Osimhen, but the goal was chalked off by the VAR because of a foul in the build-up to the goal that happened in the Nigerian half.

Speaking at the mixed zone after the victory, Osayi-Samuel described how he felt and also stated that there is still a strong need to apply caution.

“It was an amazing feeling for me, it is also a first final for me and it's also my first time in the AFCON and to be in the final is a dream come true for me but we are not there yet because we still have one more final,” said the defender who was substituted in extra time.

“Like I said, if you look at the whole team, everyone is happy and feeling great but now we need to take this joy that we've got amongst us and take it to the next game.”

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Super Eagles are ready for the AFCON 2024 final

Bright also had some good words for Bafana Bafana but praised the team play by the Super Eagles, insisting that the game-plan they had coming into the match was well executed. 

“The South African team is a very good team and they play a lot together. I think there are eight or nine of them who play in the same team back home and that's why you can see that their chemistry is very good and today they really played well.

“I honestly think that we were so resilient, we worked together as a team, we defended well and counter-attacked well, it was our game plan and we executed it well,” Bright told the media.

“We are ready for the final and it is what we have been waiting for. I think we have been growing together after each game and it's been very hard for teams to break us down. That's the main thing for us, if you can be very good at the defence plus having the type of strikers and wingers that we have, It is very obvious that we would definitely score in a game,” he added.

Kanu, Oshoala, Adekunle Gold lead eulogies for AFCON finalists Nigeria
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The 26-year-old has been linked with a move away from the Turkish outfit in the summer. He will look to help the Nigerian team make history again in their bid to win the continental title for the fourth time.

The Super Eagles will tackle the resurgent host nation of Ivory Coast in the AFCON 2024 final on February 11 at the Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium.

Osayi-Samuel's Fenerbahce had reportedly received offers from three teams from England – Crystal Palace, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leeds United with only the latter confirmed to have tabled an official bid.

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Rotimi Akindele

Rotimi Akindele is a Sports Journalist with almost two decades' experience. He is a TV and radio host, commentator and writer who has covered major sporting events across the globe. Akindele's sports content has been listened to and read by a global audience. He is a well-known figure within Nigeria and the African football scene.