Ethiopia vs. Nigeria  0 - 2

Article

Keshi delighted with Nigeria victory

30 January 2013 02:45

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has dedicated Tuesday's 2-0 defeat of Ethiopia to his countrymen.

Two late penalties from Chelsea midfielder Victor Moses earned Nigeria a place in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.

The East Africans were returning to the tournament for the first time in 31 years, and Keshi admitted it had been a tough match.

"(I have) a lot of respect for the Ethiopian team because it is a quality team. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy because they love to play football just like we like to play," Keshi said.

"This victory is a victory for Nigerians. It's something that I've been waiting for so long to make Nigerians everywhere in the world happy."

Nigeria will play giants Ivory Coast in Sunday's quarter-final and Keshi is anticipating it will bring out the best in his team.

"Taking on Cote D'Ivoire is a different ball game, it is a different mentality – everything is different because it is not going to be the same as preparing against Ethiopia or the last two teams we played against," he said.

Keshi also praised the effort of Enugu Rangers midfielder Sunday Mba who made his first start in the tournament against Ethiopia.

"Mba was wonderful, he played so well and I'm happy for him. We're trying to introduce young players who Mikel, Yobo and Enyeama can direct on the field.

"What we’re looking at is not just the Cup of Nations but how we will be able to build a very outstanding team for Nigeria in the next five years," Keshi said.

Article

Nigeria ready for Ethiopia battle

28 January 2013 19:00

Nigeria head coach Stephen Keshi insists his team are ready for their crunch Group C game against Ethiopia in the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Super Eagles currently sit equal second in the group after draws against Burkina Faso and Zambia, with Ethiopia in last place with just one point to show from their opening two games.

While both teams can still qualify for the final eight, Nigeria seem the more likely, with a win on Tuesday enough to guarantee their progression.

And Keshi is happy with how his men have applied themselves in preparation for the game.

"I want to recognise my team about preparation for tomorrow's game, we have been working very hard," he said.

"We have been talking to one and other, and the spirit is high in the camp. I like what I am seeing with my players, so I think we are ready."

Keshi has a full squad to select from and is positive whoever he calls upon will be up to the challenge.

He also urged Nigerian fans to have faith in his side despite the fact they could be heading for an early exit from the tournament.

"I think everybody is ready, everybody is ready to go, it is just a question of the coach's selection. That will take place, otherwise every member of my team is ready to go," Kehsi declared.

"It's going to be OK tomorrow. That is the only thing I can tell Nigerian fans that they don't need to worry, all they need to do is just pray for no injuries, good health for the kids and they will come out and do their best tomorrow."

Team captain Joseph Yobo echoed his coach's sentiments, declaring his side are full of confidence as the countdown to kick-off continues.

"I think everything is set for tomorrow. It is a big game for us, you know we are very prepared we still have today to train," he said.

"Team spirit is very good, I think we are on the right track, so we are looking forward to the game tomorrow."