Guinea-Bissau national football team captain Jonas Azevedo Mendes has said that they will rather ‘die’ than see themselves lose today’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2021) match to the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Mendes, who is the team’s first-choice goalkeeper, said they will battle the Super Eagles with all their might, adding that they are determined to ensure they do not crash out of the tournament after the tie.
Asked if there was any particular player in the Eagles team they were targeting, Mendes said, “We know Nigeria is a good team. It will be a mistake to target any particular player. We are facing all of them with equal attention.”
Raised in Portugal, the goalkeeper once played for Beira-Mar, in the Primera Liga but has spent most of his playing career in the third tier of Portuguese football.
Guinea-Bissau has been a revelation in AFCON 2021, and Nigeria would be doing themselves in if they underate today’s opponents.
The game kicks off by 8 pm (Nigeria time).
In a group that has African giants in Nigeria, Egypt and Sudan, the tropical country on the West African coast has not played as underdogs.
They pulled a draw against Sudan, controversially losing to Egypt.
They are currently ranked 6th among the best losers. A win over the Super Eagles will see them qualify for the round of 16.