Tuesday, February 05, 2013
PRESIDENT JONATHAN CHARGES SUPER EAGLES TO BEAT MALI AND GO FOR GLORY
Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan has charged the Super Eagles of Nigeria to beat Mali and qualify for the final of Africa cup of nations
The President of the most populous black nation in the world also promised to be at the final this weekend if Nigeria qualify.
President of the Nigeria Football Federation Aminu Maigari said the Super Eagles are ready to fulfill President Jonathan’s desire to travel to South Africa for the championship game.
“I have just spoken to the head coach (Stephen Keshi) and the captain (Joseph Yobo), and they have assured me that they will fulfill Mr. President’s desire. It is rare to have this kind of support from a Head of State,” said Maigari.
“On our part, the NFF have motivated the team enough to do Mr. President and the nation proud by not only winning on Wednesday, but lifting the trophy on Sunday.”
The team arrived in Durban, venue of Wednesday’s semi final against Mali, to a glorious welcome by the people of Durban (Nigerian residents and other nationals) who desire to be compensated for the disappointment of Super Eagles’ group stage elimination from the FIFA World Cup finals 32 months ago.
Needing only a minimum win to reach the knock-out phase of Africa’s first FIFA World Cup, and backed by a vociferous full house at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, the Eagles could only force a 2-2 draw with Korea Republic and went out with a limp.
Tickets are selling very fast for the showdown of Super Eagles and the other Eagles, as countdown begins for only the fourth Cup of Nations finals match between Nigeria and Mali.
Three previous encounters (two of them won by Nigeria and the other drawn) have produced only four goals, but the supercharged Eagles look to go on rampage at the Moses Mabhida on Wednesday.
Yakubu Ayegbeni scored the only goal in Mopti to hand Nigeria the bronze medals at the expense of the host nation at the 2002 finals and Jay-Jay Okocha’s thunderous free-kick from 35 yards made it 2-1 in another bronze medal match in Monastir at the 2004 finals in Tunisia.
It was a scoreless draw when both teams met in the group phase in Sekondi at the 2008 finals in Ghana.
Nigeria battle Mali in Wednesday’s semi-final in Durban.