Leadership (Abuja)

23 June 2014

Nigeria: World Cup - We Must Work Harder Against Argentina - Keshi

Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi has said the hard earned victory his team got against Bosnia on Saturday in Cuiaba has put hope and smiles on the faces of Nigerians even though the team must have to work harder against Argentina in their last group game in Porto Alegre.

On the same night, Ghana and fellow Africans put up a superb performance to grab a 2-2 draw and Keshi describes the night as good for West African football. Nigeria now sits second on the Group F table trailing Argentina which has six points and already booked a place in the Round of 16.

With at least a draw against Argentina, Nigeria will qualify for the next round. "Everybody is happy in West Africa; Ghana got their result and we won. It's good for the continent.

The fighting spirit we showed was good. I never thought that we wouldn't make the Round of 16. I have the players. But look at Iran, if it was not for Lionel Messi. We need to work hard for the game against Argentina."

The former Togolese national team coach who was reacting to questions after Nigeria recorded her first World Cup win since France 1998 said the Super Eagles were a bit lucky since Edin Dzeko and the Bosnians were denied a goal and troubled the Nigerian defence missing several begging chances.

"That's football for you, but the main thing is that we won the game and got the needed three points at the end of the day. Everybody is now happy. Don't forget that Nigeria also had chances to have converted to win convincingly but in life there is element of luck in everything. Dzeko missed chances and their goal was disallowed also but we also created many chances." He said

Safet Susic, Bosnia and Herzegovina coach reacting to his team's loss described the encounter as an open game that had two teams desperate to win. "The match unfolded exactly the way I imagined. It was an open game, two teams wishing to win, lots of chances at either end. We had a lot of chances and didn't convert any. They had one and scored that goal."

He said he knew Nigeria would be a tough team to crack but at the same time congratulate the Eagles. "I can only congratulate them. We knew they would be tough but they surprised us with their speed, their movement. They played attacking football, they really wanted to win. Now they are in second place in the group with great chances to progress."

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