13th June, 2013
Nigeria Coach, Stephen Keshi has said he is set to seal qualification for the next round of the 2014 World Cup in September at home to Malawi.
Nigeria would have booked their passage to the final round of the qualifiers for Brazil 2014 had they beaten hosts Namibia, Wednesday, after closest rivals Malawi were held to a 2-2 draw by Kenya.
Nigeria are top of Group F with nine points, two more than Malawi’s Flames, whom they confront in Nigeria in the first week of September.
The Eagles need only a draw from that match to reach the 10-nation final elimination round of the African series for 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“It was a difficult game. The Namibians are a very good side who are mobile, but we lost a lot of chances. If we had converted those chances we would have maybe won by five goals,” Keshi told MTNFootball.com.
“But I think it’s a good result for us. It only means we have to finish the job in September against Malawi.”
Nigeria Football Federation, NFF President, Aminu Maigari, also assured of the Eagles’ qualification.
“I have no doubt that we will qualify for the FIFA World Cup. We expected to win here but things didn’t turn out that way. However, nothing has changed. All we need do is beat Malawi in September and we’ll be through to the final round of the elimination series,” Maigari said.
“Not only will we get there, we will also conquer whichever team comes our way and get the ticket to the World Cup finals.”
Namibia coach Ricardo Manetti, who replaced Roger Palmgren only days to this match, said the home draw was a win for his team.
“I must commend my boys for fighting. We played against Africa champions and they forced us to a draw. I must confess that I didn’t expect the game to go this way because many had written us off. But for me this draw is as good as a victory for Namibia,” stated Mannetti.
Meanwhile, the African champions will fly out of Windhoek to Johannesburg, Thursday afternoon, and be on their way to Sao Paulo minutes before 6pm South Africa time. They will arrive Sao Paulo minutes before midnight, and connect immediately to Belo Horizonte, venue of their first match of the FIFA Confederations Cup tournament against Tahiti, which comes up on Monday.