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Nigeria sweat on Moses´ fitness

24 January 2013 21:17

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi is hopeful striker Victor Moses will be fit for his side's Africa Cup of Nations clash against Zambia.

The Chelsea forward missed Nigeria's opening Group C game – a 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso – with a hamstring injury.

Keshi is praying Moses will be available for Friday's encounter in Nelspruit and said the 22-year-old would be a huge inclusion.

"Hopefully he (Moses) is going to be fit for tomorrow," Keshi said.

"What is he is going to bring in? I don't know, as an individual, responsibility and desire, but we pray that he is in good shape to be on the field tomorrow.

"The team is OK. We're back focusing on the game ahead of tomorrow. The atmosphere is good, we're just waiting for tomorrow to come."

Keshi's men conceded a 94th-minute goal against Burkina Faso to settle for a 1-1 draw, with the clash between Zambia and Ethiopia ending with the same scoreline.

Nigeria captain and Fenerbahce defender Joseph Yobo said the late goal had hurt his team's morale but is confident they will bounce back against the reigning champions.

"I think we were disappointed after the game which is normal because we thought we had it in the bag, but we'll put that behind us," Yobo said.

"This is football, we didn't lose the game. We know the Zambia game is very important for both nations. It looks like a must-win game, but it's not going to be any different.

"They are defending champions. It's going to be a very tough game. We're preparing for it, hopefully come tomorrow we'll be ready to give everything we've got and try and get the three points."

Zambia coach Herve Renard was disappointed with his team's 1-1 draw against Ethiopia first up, and is looking for a positive response against Nigeria.

"Of course the result was average," Renard said. "It was not what I was expecting.

"That means the second game against Nigeria tomorrow is very important and we hope to be able to compete for the third game, meaning after the second game we hope to have a chance to go through to the quarter-final.

"The spirit is perfect and we are ready for our game tomorrow against Nigeria."

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