Full house expected in Bloem for Cup semis

2014-01-29 14:19

The semifinals of the African Nations Championship at the Free State Stadium are expected to attract a capacity crowd this afternoon.

Nigeria and Zimbabwe are banking on their inland supporters to help them reach Saturday’s final. Zimbabwe takes on Libya in the first game at 5pm while the Super Eagles and Ghana’s Black Stars face off at 8.30pm in a clash of the west Africans.

Nigeria and Zimbabwe supporters have been vociferous at their games in Cape Town and the coaches attributed their teams’ successes to the fans. Together with the Bloemfontein supporters, led by Bloemfontein Celtic fans, they are expected to flock to the semifinals.

The Black Stars, who have played all their games at the same stadium, are expected to attract their own set of followers after their impressive run in the tournament so far.

Zimbabwe coach Ian Gorowa praised his supporters for rallying and believing in the team.

“Cape Town supporters have really played their part in lifting our boys and have been excellent from the first game. Hopefully Mangaung will follow suit,” said Gorowa.

He promised that his team would not disappoint and urged the Zimbabweans to come in their large numbers.

“I know a lot of South Africans have also been supporting us and they must continue rallying behind the team. The players will play their part on the field and hopefully we will reach the final.”

After misfiring in their opening two games, the Zim Warriors finally found their scoring boots and Gorowa was hoping for more goals.

“We failed to score in the first two games and scored one against Burkina Faso, two against Mali and hopefully we will score three against Libya and reach the final.”

Nigeria’s team spokesperson Ben Alaiya said he expected supporters from Gauteng to travel to Bloemfontein to back the Super Eagles.

“We know Bloemfontein is not far from Johannesburg and Pretoria where we have a number of supporters and we expect them to come to the game.

“We understood the reason they could not come to Cape Town because it is far but they should come in to give us moral support,” said Alaiya.

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