Keshi Singles Out Nigeria Players For Praise

By Peter Pedroncelli Published: June 15, 2015, 7:02 am
Stephen KeshiStephen Keshi (image: soccerladuma.co.za)

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi was selective with his praise following his side’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) home qualifier win against Chad.

The Super Eagles began their qualifying series with a 2-0 home victory over Chad, with Gbolahan Salami and Odion Ighalo ensuring the win thanks to their second half goals in Kaduna.

Ogenyi Onazi was sent off for the Super Eagles late in the encounter, but despite the setback they were able to register three points from the fixture.

Speaking after the match, Keshi was pleased with the victory, but admitted that the first half did not match the balance of the second.

“In the first half, my boys were too cautious because being new players most of them didn’t want to make mistakes,” Keshi said to Cafonline. “The changes we made in the second half opened the game up and we were able to get our goals,” he added.

Keshi went on to single out a few strong performers in his team, and praised them for their ability and impact on the encounter.

 

“I was impressed with Ekong, I know he’s a decent defender having watched him a few times and I am happy with the team generally. I recalled Rabiu Ibrahim into the team because I discovered that he’s back playing regular football with his club (FK AS Trencin – Slovakia) and I am happy he justified my confidence in him with his performance,” the coach revealed.

Addressing the team that he put out on the field as well as his substitutions, Keshi said, “They played to instruction; they were disciplined in their marking, the new players did well and they are good addition to what we have.”

“I have been watching some of the new boys over the years and that was why they got the call up for this match. No matter how long you have in building a team, you will still continue to give some other players a chance. we will continue to do that until we have a solid team,” he concluded.

Nigeria will make the trip to Dar es Salaam in September, where they will face Tanzania in the second match of the 2017 AFCON qualifiers.

 

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