AFCON 2019: Niyungeko buoyant ahead of Nigeria showdown

By Football256 Team

Burundi national team head coach Olivier Niyungeko has prioritised the need for his side to approach every 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations game with confidence ahead of their opener against three time champions Nigeria on Saturday.

Debutants at the tournament, Niyungeko has encouraged his men to play with a lot of confidence in all their matches in the tournament.

“When you get to this stage of the competition, you are free to dream for greater things,” Niyungeko said on Friday.

“You don’t have to go there [the AFCON] saying ‘I am with the top teams’. Qualifying to the tournament is not an easy thing. I told my players, you can achieve something great,” he added.

The 48-year-old tactician claimed that his side is going to show the world that they are in Egypt on merit.

“We have to show that what we did [in the qualifiers] was not by luck, we have to face every game with confidence in order to win matches,” he noted.

Burundi amazed many when they eliminated Gabon from the tournament after playing to a one-all stalemate in Bujumbura on March 23, Gabon needed a win to make it but they failed.

The result ensured a place for the Swallows in their first ever AFCON finals, after finishing second in group C behind Mali.

Burundi are pooled in Group B alongside fellow tournament debutants Madagascar, Nigeria and Guinea.

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