Daily Trust (Abuja)

31 January 2013

Nigeria: Onigbinde - Don't Write Off Eagles Against Elephants

Lagos — Former Super Eagles handler, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde does not believe Ivory Coast's Elephants can intimidate the Super Eagles when both sides battle in Sunday's quarter final match at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.

The Nigerian team set up a quarter final cracker against Ivory Coast after they defeated Ethiopia's Walyas Antelopes 2-0 in their last group game on Tuesday.

There has been apprehension that the present Nigerian squad won't be able to match the star studded team of the Ivoriens in Sunday's match.

However, Chief Onigbinde, who led the Eagles to the Japan/Korea 2002 FIFA World Cup thought differently, saying that the Eagles will prove their mettle against Ivory Coast.

"I don't believe we have to fear the Ivorians at this stage of the championship when we have not played with them. I think Sunday will decide who the winner is. A football match is played by two teams of 11 players each, so why should we begin to entertain fear now?," queried Onigbinde.

Onigbinde recalled that his Eagles to the Japan/Korea World Cup was underrated against England in their last group match, but they shocked their critics when they held the English team to a barren draw.

"Critics thought England would beat us silly, but we were able to hold our heads and drew the match. We were able to achieve this because of my players' commitment and determination.

"I think we should not write off our Eagles against Ivory Coast. What I know of Stephen Keshi and his team is that they are getting better each game they played in the ongoing Nations Cup and with determination and aggressiveness, we can secure a win in the match," he said.

Meanwhile, former Africa coach of the year award winner, Kadiri Ikhana, has heaped praises on Victor Moses, for saving Nigeria with his two penalty goals that earned Nigeria her quarterfinals ticket.

"Moses really justified his inclusion in the team and I'm so pleased with his performance. We got the goals that took us to the quarterfinal through him because was brave.

"I believe the Eagles will consolidate on this victory when Nigeria play against Ivory Coast on Sunday. At least we have started winning, we should just continue winning our matches," he said.

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