EAGLES NEW BOYS EXCITE KESHI
Posted: Aug 17, 2012
Stephen Keshi has saluted the performance of the seven players he capped against Niger in a friendly on Wednesday.
Keshi gave Eagles debuts to Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars), Benjamin Francis (Heartland), Solomon Jabason (Akwa United), Sibi Gwar (Niger, Sanusi Sani (Gombe United), Umar Zango (Kano Pillars) and Philip Asuquo (Shooting Stars) in the goalless draw with Niger.
“I must say the entire team did well though we did not win the match, because of wasted opportunities, but those who impressed me the more are the players who have never played for the national team before and turned out very well against Niger in an away game,” Keshi remarked.
“That is why I wonder when some people say the Nigerian league lacks talents, there are lot of them hidden there waiting to be discovered but I must congratulate those who have so far proved themselves against a tough side like Niger.”
The Eagles made up of players from the Nigeria premier league received more accolades from their opponents, the Mena of Niger.
Skipper Moussa Maazou said Keshi’s team provided a good test for them ahead of next month’s AFCON qualifier against Guinea.
“Your team were very good and quicker on the ball and they have given us what to expect when we play Guinea in a Nations Cup qualifier in September,” said Maazou, who now features for Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia after stints in Belgium, France and Russia.
Frenchman Frederic Acosta, who was playing his last game as caretaker coach agreed that his side had their backs to the wall for the better part of the game, but noted that it had to be so because they were preparing for a qualifier and were playing against a very experienced side like Nigeria.
”It’s a good preparation match for us in Niger and we could not have had a better one. Kudos to the Nigerians, they gave a lot to chew over and when we play Guinea in the Nations Cup qualifier, it will show”, he declared.
Also speaking on the match, Niger Football Federation president, Col Jubrila Isa (rtd), agreed with the coach that his side’s high rating was brought down to earth by the Eagles, adding that a lot of work needed to be done by the Mena to qualify for their second Nations Cup finals.
“Nigeria were very quick and good on the ball. We have a lot of work to do on our team, but Nigeria have so many players and have little work to do for the Nations Cup,” he said when he visited the Hotel Gaweye camp of the Super Eagles after the match.
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