Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Injuries, finishing cost Nigeria - Keshi

24 June 2013, 16:09

Fortaleza - Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi was left to rue the legacy of untimely injuries and wayward shooting after his side's Confederations Cup challenge came to an end in a 3-0 loss to Spain.

The African champions needed to win Sunday's game to stand any chance of squeezing into the semifinals, but Spain took the honours through a pair of goals from left-back Jordi Alba and a Fernando Torres header.

Prior to the defeat, Nigeria had beaten Tahiti 6-1 before losing 2-1 to Uruguay – a law of diminishing returns in keeping with a pre-tournament run in which they had scored only six times in six matches.

Keshi's side played attractive football at times at Fortaleza's Estadio Castelao and created a clutch of clear-cut chances, only for their forwards' composure to desert them at the crucial moment.

Brown Ideye and substitute Muhammad Gambo both spurned good opportunities in the second half, and Keshi said that Nigeria's failure to convert such chances had cost them dearly.

"There's so much anxiety in front of the goal-line when we get there," he said.

"The good thing is we create chances, but we're not finishing them. That's something we need to work on. Hopefully it's going to come quickly."

Keshi said his players had become "unprofessional" after Torres doubled Spain's lead shortly after coming on as a 60th-minute substitute, but he admitted that the injuries that have afflicted his squad were beyond his control.

Nigeria lost Victor Moses, Emmanuel Emenike and Ogenyi Onazi prior to the tournament, while Nnamdi Oduamadi was injured against Uruguay and centre-back Kenneth Omeruo had to go off with an injury against Spain.

"You look at the other teams in the tournament, and they have a complete XI of first-team players here," he said.

"I lost four, five key players in the team at the last minute. And today I lost one of my key players at centre-half, which is damaging. But it's football. You have to live with it."

Spain advance to a semifinal with Italy in the same arena on Thursday, but Keshi said he did not know if the world champions had a stronger chance of success in the tournament than Group A winners Brazil.

"I cannot say if Spain is the favourite or Brazil," he said.

"Sometimes it's not the best team that wins the tournament. You have to wait until the end of 90, 95 minutes to see who wins. Today might turn out good for Italy, and tomorrow is not."

Despite their Confederations Cup disappointment, Nigeria remain on course to return to Brazil for next year's World Cup.

The Super Eagles will move into the third round of African qualifying if they avoid defeat at home to Malawi in their next competitive fixture on September 6.


Join in the conversation on our Facebook page. Also get the latest news by following us on Twitter.


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...