Posted by News Express | 1 February 2014 | 3,473 times
The Super Eagles of Nigeria are determined not to return empty-handed from the 2014 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) as they face Zimbabwe in the third-place match this afternoon at the Cape Town Stadium. The match, scheduled for 4pm, will precede the final between Ghana and Libya at the same venue.
After falling to fellow West Africans Ghana in the semi-final, Coach Stephen Keshi has told his boys to finish the tournament in style in the play-off.
“Losing in penalties in the semis was not good enough because we even failed to score in normal play. But we want to go all out and play good football against Zimbabwe,” he added.
While it’s the first time Nigeria play in the CHAN tournament and are happy to get as far as this stage on their first attempt, this is also Zimbabwe’s best show after failing to get out of the Group stages in the last two Editions.
Besides chasing third place and the cash prize at stage, Nigerian players Rabin Ali and Ejike Uzoenyi (3 goals) and Ifeanyi Benjamin Ede (2 goals) will be out to try and take the top scorers prize. South Africa’s Bernard Parker still leads the scoring chart with four goals.
Uzoenyi has meanwhile vowed that the Eagles will fight to win the bronze to make up for not reaching the final.
“It’s the only thing we have to leave here with and we are determined to compensate Nigerians with a third-place finish,” the Enugu Rangers winger told MTNFootball.com.
Uzoenyi almost passed out when Ghanaian defender Kwabina Adusei, elbowed him around his neck leading to a minor concoction mid-way into the first half of the semi-final in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
The medical staff described Uzoenyi’s condition at the time as Cortica Artery seizure, noting that it took quite a while to get his pulse back from the leg region.
“It was scary but we thank God, it didn’t degenerate more than that and the player’s recovery rate was phenomenal,” one of the medical official attached to the team noted.
Uzoenyi said: “That player wanted to kill me with that vicious elbow and I was blank and did not know where I was until I started hearing noises, but I was determined to continue that was why I was rushing back to the pitch.
“But I think it was God that saved my life because some lesser cases have resulted in fatalities.”
•Photo: After surviving death against Ghana, Nigeria’s talismanic winger Ejike Uzoenyi is determined not to leave South Africa empty-handed as they confront Zimbabwe.
No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.