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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Nwabali reflects on first Afcon journey with Nigeria

“We have a lot of leaders in the team (Nigeria) who always guide me even when things are not going well," said the keeper.

Nigeria goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali has reflected on his performances at the recently concluded Caf Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Ivory Coast.

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Nwabali was among the standout goalkeepers at the competition, with the Chippa United shot-stopper helping Nigeria to reach the final of the AFCON by saving two penalties against Bafana Bafana in the semi-finals.

The keeper credited his Super Eagles teammates for bringing the best out of him.

“It was the help from my teammates, who guided me, the management and the whole team. It was my first AFCON and it is really difficult for any goalkeeper to be at a big tournament like the AFCON (and do well),” Nwabali told Arise News.

“But how my teammates always encourage me like saying ‘you can do better, we have seen you at training, we have seen you at friendly games. You just need to be yourself and play your football.’ So, when people talk about how I always play my football with so much confidence, the confidence comes from my teammates.

“We have a lot of leaders in the team (Nigeria) who always guide me even when things are not going well. They will go the extra mile to talk to me, even before the instruction from the coach. So, I appreciate it.”

Following the conclusion of the AFCON, Nwabali is set for a return to Chippa United.

The Chilli Boys will resume their DStv Premiership campaign under the leadership of new co-coaches Kwanele Kopo and Thabo September who took over from Morgan Mammila during the Afcon break.

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They will host Cape Town City at Buffalo City Municipality Stadium on Saturday.

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