Coach Stephen Keshi has praised his Super Eagles for excellent teamwork after a 1-0 win over Kenya that earned them three precious points in a crucial 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Nairobi yesterday.
Ahmed Musa’s delightful chip over goalkeeper Duncan Ochieng with nine minutes to go, and Malawi’s failure to win against Namibia in Blantyre same day, means the African champions will reach the final qualifying fixture of the 2014 showpiece should they beat Namibia in Windhoek and Kenya hold Malawi in Blantyre on Wednesday next week.
“I will not single out any player for praise. This is a sweet victory for us and it was only possible by teamwork. Everyone played his part and at the end, we are happy to have the three points.
“However, our focus is now on the match against Namibia in Windhoek next Wednesday. We have to pick maximum points from that match as well, to make sure of our progress in the race, even ahead of the last matches in the group,” Keshi said at the post-match parley.
Kasarani’s aging Moi International Sports Centre rocked endlessly before kick-off, as Kenyan football fans massed behind their team, hoping for a miracle. It did not happen.
However, Musa’s goal gave the scanty Nigeria crowd joy, and the Super Eagles will now travel to Windhoek on Friday.
Coach of Black Stars, Kwesi Appiah wants more of the likes of Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi to handle African national teams.
Appiah, an ex-Black Stars captain, was one of seven indigenous coaches out of sixteen at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
He led Ghana to a disappointing fourth place finish, but Nigeria’s local coach Stephen Keshi led the Super Eagles to their third African title in South Africa.
Appiah says getting more local coaches in charge of African sides and giving them the needed backing is the way to go.
“It is important that sometimes along the line countries give opportunities to their own to see what they can do and if possible encourage them and support them just as they would do if they should bring someone outside the country, Appiah told the BBC.
“I don’t think it is a bad idea bringing somebody outside your country but the most important thing is to encourage your own as well.
“So that along the line, you can’t always depend on somebody coming from outside your country to coach. That is the step that Ghana and Nigeria have taken.”
Appiah will attempt to qualify Ghana for a third successive FIFA World Cup final as the qualifiers got back yesterday with a game against Sudan in Omdurman on Friday night.