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.


Keshi heralds sleepless Nigeria stars

19 November 2013, 14:58

London - Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi praised his players for shrugging off the effects of jetlag and fatigue to hold Italy to a 2-2 draw in an entertaining friendly in London.

Monday's game at Fulham's Craven Cottage came barely 48 hours after the African champions had secured their place at next year's World Cup with a 2-0 victory over Ethiopia in the second leg of a qualifying play-off.

A much-changed side fell behind to a 12th-minute goal by Giuseppe Rossi but hit back through Bright Dike and Shola Ameobi, only for Italy midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini to restore parity early in the second half.

"After 48 hours, playing a World Cup qualifying match and flying right away here, they did good," Keshi said.

"Without sleeping, and we didn't get to do any training before this game. I'm happy."

The World Cup in Brazil is still seven months away, but Keshi does not foresee any major upheaval regarding the composition of his squad during that period.

"This is the fifth or sixth time I'm taking the same team to play my game," he said.

"Most of them are going to be there (in Brazil), if there's no injuries. I pray there's no injuries. But I still need some (new) players in the team, to make the team more solid."

United States-born Dike, 26, had previously scored for Nigeria in an unofficial friendly against Catalonia in January, but his 35th-minute header against Italy was his first goal in a full international match.

While Nigeria threatened to snatch victory on a couple of occasions in the second half, Italy twice hit the woodwork in the latter stages, and Dike said the performance showed room for improvement.

"It was a little mixed," said the Toronto FC forward.

"We had some really good moments, we had some bad moments, but that's what soccer is. They had us on our back-heels at times, we had them on their back-heels.

"So hopefully we keep getting better and keep helping each other and pushing each other to the next level."

Captain Vincent Enyeama told the BBC in the aftermath of his side's victory over Ethiopia that Nigeria could win next year's tournament, but he was more circumspect after the draw with Italy.

Asked how far Nigeria could go, the Lille goalkeeper would only say: "As far as possible. Until I know the opponent, then I will start talking. For now: as far as possible."



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...