Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014

FIFA World Cup: If we get into second round anything can happen, says Nigeria coach

Nigeria's Michael Babatunde is fouled by Bosnia's Mensur Mujdza (L) as Nigeria's coach Stephen Keshi (R) watches (Source: Reuters) Nigeria's Michael Babatunde is fouled by Bosnia's Mensur Mujdza (L) as Nigeria's coach Stephen Keshi (R) watches (Source: Reuters)
Reuters | Cuiaba | Posted: June 22, 2014 12:04 pm | Updated: June 22, 2014 12:07 pm

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi hopes the momentum from Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Bosnia will set his side on a similar path to that they followed in winning the last African Nations Cup.

“Victories affect people in different ways so we are looking up now and if we get into the second round anything can happen,” he said after Peter Odemwingie’s first half goal lifted Nigeria to four points after two games in Group F at the World Cup.

“Maybe we will be inspired as we were in the last African Nations Cup.

“We needed the win. They have some fantastic players so we are happy to bounce back after what our people thought was a poor performance in the first game.”

Nigeria were held to a goalless draw by Iran in a disappointing start that mirrored the slow start for the Super Eagles 18 months ago when they went on to win the African title.

“I think the character of the boys showed. The fighting spirit of the team. And it was better weather today, although the temperature was very, very high. It was tough. But I liked what I saw.

“There was never a time I thought we would never make it. As long as the players are willing to play, I know what we have.”

The win also marked a first World Cup finals triumph for Nigeria since 1998. They failed to win in 2002 and 2010, which added to Keshi’s delight. “It’s been 16 years and no wins for our country so we are very excited.”

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