15th November, 2013
Ethiopia coach Bishaw Sewnet has vowed his men will give whatever it takes to overturn a first-leg defeat when they take on Nigeria in their World Cup playoff billed for the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar, Cross River State southern Nigeria on Saturday.
Bishaw is in confident mood going into the encounter hoping to continue Ethiopia’s surprising World Cup journey when they face the Super Eagles, who are the reigning African champion in the return leg, despite a 1-2 loss at home in mid-October.
While expressing optimism to upset Nigeria, Bishaw said: “This is the biggest match of my life. I want to win it. I’ll fight to the maximum.”
On whether there is any injury worry in his squad, Bishaw said: “There’s no problem in my squad. All of my players are fit and the mood in the camp is very high. Everybody is waiting for the kick-off whistle.”
Nigeria won the first leg in Addis Ababa courtesy of a brace from Emanuel Emenike and the Eagles are clear favourites to book a place at next year’s Mundial in Brazil, which would be their fifth appearance at a finals.
However, Sewnet is confident his side can come back.
“I’m 100 per cent confident of overturning the result. I’ll only play for a win. Football involves a defeat and a win. That we were defeated in the first leg doesn’t mean we’ll be defeated in the second leg,” he said.
“I’ve not finished the match. I’ve 90 minutes left to play. I’ll fight for a 2-0 win or for a 2-1 to take it in to extra-time. So, I want to remind them that it’s not over yet.”
The first leg victory was Nigeria’s fifth win over Ethiopia in eight encounters, and potentially the most crucial, boosting confidence for the fixture in Calabar.
“We will win for the country and qualify for the World Cup,” vowed Liverpool forward Victor Moses, who this week made the shortlist for the BBC African Footballer of the Year award.
“We’re not under pressure and so we will settle down, play our football and win,” added Lokomotiv Moscow forward Obinna Nsofor.