Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi dedicated Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat of Ethiopia to his countrymen. The Super Eagles earned passage to the quarter final through two late penalty goals courtesy of Victor Moses.
Keshi spoke after the game that is was not an easy encounter against the East Africans who were returning to the tournament for the first time in 31 years.
“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,” said Keshi.
“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 will next play giants Cote D’Ivoire in the quarter finals next Sunday. It is a challenge which Keshi anticipates will bring out the best in his team.
“Taking on Cote D’Ivoire is a different ball game, it is a different mentality – everything is different because it is not going to be the same as preparing against Ethiopia or the last two teams we played against,” he said.
The coach also praised the effort of Enugu Rangers midfielder Sunday Mba who madehis first start in the tournament against Ethiopia.
“Mba was wonderful, he played so well and I’m happy for him. We’re trying to introduce young players that Mikel, Yobo and Enyeama can direct them on the field.
“What we’re looking at is not just the Cup of Nations but how we will be able to build a very outstanding team for Nigeria in the next five years,” Keshi said.