Premium Times (Abuja)

5 February 2013

Nigeria/Mali: I Have Selection Headache Against Mali - Keshi

Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, has said that he has a challenge selecting his first eleven for Wednesday's match against the Eagles of Mali.

Keshi, who stated this at a press conference in South Africa on Tuesday, said all the players are in good shape with some players returning to fight for a starting berth.

"In my team there's a lot of headache to select. Onazi did a wonderful job last week, we just have to pick a right team," he said.

Part of Keshi's dilemma is the return of Fegor Ogude who was suspended for the quarter-final match against Cote d' Ivoire. His absence saw Nigeria based Sunday Mba playing in the midfield and emerging as the man of the match after scoring a superb second goal against the Ivorians.

Keshi now has to choose two of Fegor Ogude, Sunday Mba, and Ogenyi Onazi to join Mikel Obi in the Nigerian midfield. He was non-committal on whether Fegor Ogude, would return to the starting line-up saying the decision would be made on Wednesday.

The Nigerian coach also spoke about the Mali team saying they are a good side; and about 85 per cent of them played for the team while he was the Malian coach.

"Mali is a footballing nation. They have talents; I've got a lot of respect for them. They have a good calibre of players; we are putting everything that we know together and all we know will be put together to win Mali.

"What we know is that we are playing a good side of Mali, 85 per cent played with me for two years so they're a great side, we will concentrate," he said.

Keshi, who coached the Eagles of Mali for two years, said he still has a good relationship with the Malian team.

Nigeria will confront Mali on Wednesday in the semi-final of the African Cup of Nations.

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