29 January 2013

Nigeria/Ethiopia: Nigeria and Ethiopia Still in With a Shout in Group C

Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Chelsea's Victor Moses scored both Nigeria's goals off penalties.

Group C of AFCON 2013 will be decided on Tuesday with all four teams still capable of qualifying for the quarter -finals and at Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg Nigeria will battle it out with Ethiopia while Zambia clash with Burkina Faso in Nelspruit.

Nigeria will be hoping to better the two (1-1) draws they have notched so far and Super Eagles players and coach Stephen Keshi emphasized that this encounter was a winner takes all match. " We have our destiny in our own hands" said Keshi after he saw his charges held by champions, Zambia. In both games, against Burkina Faso and Zambia, Keshi's team led and had chances to increase their tally but were twice pegged back late in the match. Keshi will be seeking to tighten the defence and perhaps find a way to score more than a goal a game they have managed so far. " In both games we created a lot of chances and l have no worries about that, it's putting them away that we need to improve on" said Keshi . Ikechukwu Uche, Ahmed Musa could have scored by now if more precise in front goal. Emmanuel Emenike 's two strikes are the only goals Super Eagles have mastered so far, so against Ethiopian defence the conceded four to Burkina Faso , Nigeria will fancy their chances to score more than one goal for the first time.

Ethiopia for their part will be seeking to erase the memories of a bad day at the office last Friday when after a good start they capitulated and leaked four goals to ten men Burkina Faso. Always a collective entity and driven by skills and creativity of Adane Girma and Saladin Said , the Walias will have to regroup and try and discover their mojo from the first match against champions , Zambia. Ethiopia will need the three points at stake the most of all four teams in group C because going into the match they 1 (one) point and a win coupled with a favourable result from Zambia versus Burkina Faso could see Walias through. Coach Sewnet Bishaw has had three days to pick up his players after the Burkina Faso game but he will be missing first choice goalkeeper Jemal Tessew and his deputy Tadelle Zerihun seemed to struggle in commanding his presence.

Nigeria know what they need to do and as Keshi put it, "We must just beat Ethiopia to make the quarter finals." Villarreal striker Uche said Nigeria will win their first game of the tournament on Tuesday. "We all know what is at stake against Ethiopia we either win or we are out of the competition. And I know we will win," said Uche, who was the team's top scorer in the qualifying series with three goals. Despite the draw (with Zambia) the group is still very open and we now have to wait till the last game. We are used to the pressure." "The most important thing is getting qualification, even if it is on the last day," added Nigeria goalkeeper trainer Ike Shorunmu. When the teams last clashed, in Addis Ababa last-gasp equaliser. Nigeria won the first meeting 4-0 in Abuja. The Super Eagles have not failed to reach the last eight since 1982 in Libya, where they finished third in a group including Ethiopia and Zambia.

Copyright © 2013 Confederation of African Football. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.