Keshi proud of Eagles after draw with Niger despite stifling heat

The national team coach gave kudos to the players of the team after their valiant 0-0 draw against the Mena in stifling heat

The Super Eagles were held to a goalless draw on Wednesday by the Niger Republic national team, the Mena, and Stephen Keshi came out of that encounter delighted at the performance of his team.

The encounter was a tune-up match for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in September against Liberia.

Keshi said he was impressed by the attitude of the players who kept their concentration to the optimum throughout the encounter.

“It is a good warm up for the Liberia game,” said Keshi. “The result was a good one because we did not play with the compliment of our Europe-based stars while Niger featured up to eight foreign-based professional players,” he added.

The international friendly match was played at the 50,000 capacity Stade General Seyni Kountche in Niamey, and was watched by a half-filled stadium.

Niger were the better side in the opening minutes of the match but the Eagles got into it as the match progressed. Both sides gave their best and the Eagles had three cautions to Solomon Kwambe, Solomon Jabason and Sanni Sanusi in the first half.

Kalu Uche had a goal-bound free kick blocked in the 21st minute for one of the nine corner kicks played by the Eagles.

Keshi rang changes during half time and brought on Umar Zango for a tired Idris, Kwambe was pulled out for Ugonna, Philip Asuquo for Sunday Mba, Sibi Gwar made his debut by coming on for Ejike Uzoenyi and Sanni Sanusi for Uche Kalu. 3SC's Asuquo was again a delight in the midfield but chances created for Sani, Reuben and Gwar were wasted.

The match ended after five minutes of additional time to take the Eagles’ unbeaten run to five matches.