Thursday, January 31, 2008


NIGERIA’s forward Osaze Odemwingie has warned the rest of the tournament that his team means business after its “miracle” qualification.
The Super Eagles beat Benin 2-0 while Ivory Coast defeated Mali, making Nigeria scrape through the last eight and a quarter-final meeting with Ghana.
"We asked for something of a miracle and it happened," said Odemwingie, who is suspended for Sunday's match.
"We showed great mental strength. Rule us out at your own risk."
The victory for Nigeria sparked scenes of celebrations in the Super Eagles camp as the West African nation avoided elimination at the group stage for the first time since 1982.
Odemiwingie, 27, had an excellent game against the Squirrels, setting up John Obi Mikel for the opening goal.
Yakubu Aiyegbeni made the result safe for Nigeria five minutes from time — and with Ivory Coast comfortably defeating Mali, the Super Eagles finished second in Group B on goal difference.
We are now up against the host team, and if we want to progress in this competition, we will have to beat them as well," added Odemwingie.
Didier Drogba got his name on the score sheet as Ivory Coast won their third straight game.
The heavily fancied Elephants will now play Guinea for a place in the semi-finals, but the Chelsea striker is refusing to talk up his team's chances of winning the tournament.
When asked about the prospects of the Ivorians improving on their status as beaten finalists in 2006, Drogba said: "Be careful — football is very strange.
"I hope we can keep it very simple, not speak too much and do it on the pitch.
"It is another tournament that is starting now. Two years ago was two years ago - this is a new competition and we have different players. I hope we go on to win it, but now it is a series of knockout games” — BBC.

No comments: