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Nigeria seek inspiration from African Nations Cup triumph

June 22, 2014 13:43 IST

Nigeria seek inspiration from African Nations Cup triumph

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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.

Odemwingie goal ends long Nigeria wait, knocks Bosnia out

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“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.”


Image: Ogenyi Onazi of Nigeria celebrates a 1-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina in their Group F match at Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba on Friday
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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'There was never a time I thought we would never make it'

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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.”


Image: Edin Dzeko of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kenneth Omeruo of Nigeria compete for the ball during their match on Friday
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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