Teboho Mokoena has warned Nigeria’s Dream Team to be ready to cope with his deadly free kicks.
Leaders South Africa host second placed Nigeria in a final U-23 AFCON Group B match at the Al Salam in Cairo, Egypt on Friday evening.
The 22-year old, who scored his first professional free kick in a competitive match with a stunner against Ivory Coast, revealed that being a free kick specialist has been one area he has been working on as a midfield player.
“Being a free kick taker is one area I have been working really hard on to improve as a player,” Mokoena told South Africa Football Association –safa.net.
“Lionel Messi is one of the guys that I look up to. He scored a free kick a few weeks ago where instead of running towards the ball; he takes a few steps walking before pulling a strike at goal.
“I tried his technique and it has been working really well for me ever since.”
“We played really well against Ivory Coast in our previous match and Nigeria is another side that we will need to manage as well,” Mokoena said.
“We have been solid at the back in our previous two group games while pressing forward to create scoring chances of our own. The same approach will be applied in this tie, as we also want to win this game as well.”
The Coach Imama Dream Team needs an outright win for a ticket into the semi-finals.
The top three teams from the championship will represent Africa in the men’s football event of 2020 Tokyo Olympics.