Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Inside knowledge helped Nigeria – Keshi

Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Nigeria's Stephen Keshi credits inside knowledge for helping the Super Eagles reach the Afcon final

By Sportsbeat

Stephen Keshi credited inside knowledge for giving Nigeria the advantage over Mali after the Super Eagles reached their first Afcon final since 2000.

Goals from Elderson Echiejile, Emmanuel Emenike and Musa Ahmed, plus an own-goal from ex-Liverpool midfielder Momo Sissoko, secured the Super Eagles’ place in the final, while Cheick Diarra grabbed a late consolation.

Keshi had stated his desire to become only the second man to win the competition as a player and a manager, and credited his side’s spirit as the key to reaching the final.

“Nigerians have waited a long time for this moment,” said Keshi.

“[They] have missed out a great deal in the last few years – my goal was to put smile on Nigerians.

“We knew that Mali will give us a tough time, but we knew that they are a little bit slow and we took advantage of that.

“Mali are a good team with a top player like Seydou Keita, but they are not very fast at the back and we took advantage of this to score our first two goals.”

However Mali coach Patrice Carteron was not too disheartened by his team’s performance after guiding the 2010 finalists to the semi-finals this year.

“I’m still proud of this team – we worked hard even though we did not reach the final,” said Carteron.

“We lost against a good team that was full of confidence tonight. We played a team that just beat Cote d’Ivoire and you could see their confidence on the night.

“What happened to us tonight is very difficult. Mali has been able to reach the semi-finals before and we also achieved that – which is good.”


MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Rotterdam Open
The Sport Review
Roger Federer sweeps past Grigor Dimitrov for 97th title in Rotterdam: ‘It’s great to win this way!’
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Owen Hargreaves sends message to Chelsea FC fans about Ethan Ampadu
The Sport Review
Paul Scholes: Man United midfielder wants to ‘shut up’ his critics
The Sport Review
Ex-striker tips Chelsea FC signing to help Eden Hazard flourish