Nigeria nemesis Guinea target semis

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Guinea who shocked star-studded Super Eagles of Nigeria to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations have set a semi-finals target at the tournament.

“In 2006 and 2008, we reached the quarter-finals. The minimum for us now is to get to at least the semi-finals and why not the final?” said general secretary of Feguifoot, Ibrahim Blasco Barry.

Guinea are drawn in Group D in Franceville, Gabon, along with fellow West Africans Mali and Ghana as well as debutants Botswana.

The Syli Nationale have made up for failing to reach the 2010 edition of the tournament in Angola by outshining highly-rated Nigeria in the qualifying series for the 2012 Nations Cup.

Guinea’s best performance in African football showpiece event was achieved in 1976, when they lost out by a mere point to eventual champions Morocco in a playoff that included Nigeria and Egypt.

Guinean President Alpha Condé has received the team in a special reception and presented skipper Pascal Feindouno the country’s flag, charging the Syli Stars to defend Guinea’s colours with pride in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Guinea though will be at the finals without Italy-based midfielder Kevin Constant, who pulled out of the tournament as he is on the verge of moving from Chievo Verona to Lazio.