Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Nigeria’s Keshi warns of Ivory Coast test
Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Stephen Keshi warns of Ivory Coast test after Nigeria beat Ethiopia to reach the last eight
Stephen Keshi has warned Nigeria that the Ivory Coast will prove a much sterner test in the last eight after his side beat Ehtiopia in their final Group C tie.
The Super Eagles looked to be heading for a disappointing group-stage exit until Chelsea midfielder Victor Moses scored two late penalties to secure the victory.
And although Keshi was keen to praise the Walya Antelopes performance, he believes that a Didier Drogba-led Ivory Coast will be a much tougher test.
“Taking on Cote D’Ivoire is a different ball game, it is a different mentality – everything is different,” he said.
“Because it is not going to be the same as preparing against Ethiopia or the last two teams we played against,” he said.
“A lot of respect for the Ethiopian team because it is a quality team. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy because they love to play football just like we like to play.
“This victory is a victory for Nigerians. It’s something that I’ve been waiting for so long to make Nigerians everywhere in the world happy.”
Nigeria arrived in Rustenburg knowing only a win would guarantee safe passage from Group C, with the result of Zambia’s match against Burkina Faso key to the final outcome.
The Super Eagles controlled much of the game, but looked to be facing a disappointing early exit from the competition as they failed to break the deadlock.
However with only 10 minutes to go, Moses was felled by Alula Girma in the Ethiopia box, and the 22-year-old remained calm and slotted the ball home.
Ethiopia almost replied immediately, however the athleticism of Vincent Enyeama denied Saladin Said, before Moses added another spot kick to seal the win.