Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Nigeria v Ethiopia Today: Super Eagles aim to right the wrong of matches past



Omeruo, Oboabona, Ambrose, Elderson
Igiebor, Mikel, Ogude
Musa, Emenike, Brown


Hailu Reda,Debebe, Tesfaye, Bogale
Zinabura, Beyene, Adis, Bekele
Saladin, Assefa

The final round of Group C matches threaten to ignite as Nigeria and Ethiopia face either glory or gloom in South Africa.

Rustenburg will be the venue for the Super Eagles’ final Group C match @ 5pm GMT—a contest which will decide the immediate future of the nation’s football. How will the nation remember the 2013 Cup of Nations? Will this be the year of what-ifs and might-have-beens? The year when the side conceded late equalisers against Burkina Faso and Zambia, throwing away four points in the process.

Or, will it be the year when the side overcame some perceived injustices to qualify from a tricky group and make an emphatic return to the continent’s high table? The future is still in the hands of the Super Eagles, for whom the permutations are numerous.

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi feels this year's African Nations Cup is wide open as the perceived gap between the bigger and smaller teams continues to narrow.

The Super Eagles must beat Ethiopia at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium to ensure their progression from Group C, with previously unfancied Burkina Faso and reigning champions Zambia occupying the top spots going into the third round of group games.

All Stephen Keshi will be telling his boys is that a win against Ethiopia will guarantee their place in the quarter-finals. The Black Lions may well be in disarray after their demolition at the hands of Burkina Faso, and shorn of the confidence that characterised their opening battle with Zambia, the Big Boss may well identify the Walya Antelopes as ripe for the taking.

After impressing in the first two fixtures, the duo of Emmanuel Emenike and Ahmed Musa will likely be the key attacking options for Nigeria. Despite his nervous penalty miss, John Obi Mikel’s improvement throughout the Zambia match will not have gone unnoticed—indeed, it was his pass which led to Emenike’s opening goal against Chipolopolo.

Defensive resiliency has been the issue for Nigeria in the first two games, and Keshi might be tempted to recall skipper Joseph Yobo, who sat out of the second fixture against Zambia.

Nigeria were held to draws by both nations and Keshi remains wary of Ethiopia's potential to spring a surprise, especially considering Cape Verde's shock win over Angola last night.

He told Nigerian newspaper Vanguard: "I am very impressed with what I have seen so far. You can no longer differentiate so much between which teams are better.

"In the old days you could predict how many goals one team was going to score against the other but now you don't know what is going to happen.

"You might think one side will win but you don't know. I think this is wonderful for African football.

"The competition is so tight, you look at the likes of Ethiopia and Cape Verde and some of the other countries.

"I am very impressed with their performances and the standard they are reaching."

Ethiopia returned to the showpiece tournament for the first time since 1982 and gave themselves a slim chance of a quarter-final place by claiming a 1-1 draw with Zambia.

A 4-0 defeat to Burkina Faso followed, though, and coach Sewnet Bishaw knows the goals have to flow against Nigeria if the Antelopes are to turn the mathematics in their favour.

He told Vanguard: "We hoped that we would play again like the first game and take a point against Burkina Faso.

"We're not going on to the field to defend, because defending will only give you one point. Now we must try to play against Nigeria to score goals and get three points.

"If we get three points, in total we'll have four, and may qualify for the next stage.

"Not only will we just score one or two goals, we need to score lots of goals, otherwise it is a matter of dignity for our boys."


  • Ethiopia, ranked 110th in the Fifa world rankings, are the lowest ranked team in the competition.
  • The east Africans return to the competition after a 31-year absence, but are yet to register a victory this year.
  • Nigeria skipper Joseph Yobo was set to win his 90th cap against Zambia, but after not making it onto the pitch, that land mark could be sealed against Ethiopia.
  • In contrast, Kenneth Omeruo, who replaced the Fenerbache man is relative newcomer to the side – the 19-year-old is currently playing for ADO Den Haag on loan from Chelsea.

1 comment:

  1. Hey my friends I tell you some tips Same day flower delivery is the perfect solution for getting out of a tricky situation. Maybe you’ve forgotten a birthday or simply can’t be with someone at the last minute on the day. Whatever the reason, we are here to help make sure your heartfelt messages are delivered on time, every time with a stunning bouquet of flowers.
    Ethiopia Next Day Flower Delivery