Nations Cup: Eagles Won't Blow Last Chance –Keshi


Chief Coach of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, has assured Nigerians that his team won’t blow their last opportunity to qualify for the South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Eagles who played 2-2 against the Lone Star of Liberia last weekend in Monrovia will be at war against the same opponents in the reverse fixture in the last round of the qualifying series on 14 October. The Nigerian team must win the match to get a ticket to play in the Nations Cup.

“The next match against Liberia will be our last chance to get the qualification ticket; I want to assure that we won’t blow the chance. We had no reason not to win the match in Monrovia if not for the blunders committed by the team,” Keshi said.

“I have told the players that getting the ticket now depends on how well we play in the match scheduled for Calabar and I believe we’ll not disappoint Nigeria,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Africa Player of the Year, Victor Ikpeba, believes that Nigeria can carry on with their building process under Keshi without John Mikel Obi and Peter Osaze Odemwingie.

Ikpeba made this statement as a guest analyst in a football magazine show, Monday Night Football, on SuperSport 3 on Monday.

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The winner of the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations was responding to Keshi leaving out the duo from the match against Liberia.

“Nigeria can do without Mikel and Osaze. Nigeria is bigger than the two players and after all both players were part of the team that played against Guinea last year. And what happened?” Ikpeba wondered.

“Keshi tried to call the players and their response wasn’t the best and he had to take a decision. If I am Keshi I don’t think I will call them to the team again.”

Ikpeba also defended Keshi’s building process with the Super Eagles. “Stephen Keshi is on the right path with the team and what he’s doing with the team is very brave. And I must say the draw against Liberia is a good result because it gives Nigeria a 70 to 80 per cent chance of qualifying for the 2013 Nations Cup,” said the former Nigerian striker.

Nigeria will play host to Liberia in the return leg of the 2013 Afcon qualification in Calabar on October 14.

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