31 January 2013

Nigeria/South Africa: Cote D 'Ivoire Is Beatable, Says Mikel

Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Emmanuel Emenike of Nigeria shoots at goal during the quarter-final against Cote d'Ivoire in Rustenburg, South Africa.

Rustenburg — Super Eagles midfielder John Obi Mikel has said Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria's opponents in the quarter-final of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations tournament in South Africa are beatable, and urged Nigerians not to be panicked.

The Chelsea midfielder, who stated this at a post match media briefing at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Tuesday evening, also warned Cote d'Ivoire against underrating Nigeria in their quarterfinal clash on Sunday.

He noted that, with the Super Eagles improving with every game, he was sure the Eagles are capable of defeating the Elephants of Cote d'Ivoire when the two countries clash in the quarter-finals.

However, Mikel, who was the second most valuable player at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Netherlands, acknowledged that facing the Ivorians will be tough and exciting.

"Those writing off Nigeria are doing so at their peril. It is a knockout match and we can definitely win. The media keep reminding us that the Ivory Coast is unbeatable but we shall see on Sunday.

"We know that playing against the Ivory Coast is going to be tough and exciting because some of our opponents are my friends, especially Didier Drogba," said Mikel.

The Chelsea star was picked as the Samsung Fair Player of the group C match against Ethiopia on Tuesday.

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