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Keshi: Victory over Bosnia for Africa

Keshi:  Victory over Bosnia for Africa
June 22
17:09 2014

Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, has said that his team team delivered a victory for all of Africa after Osaze Odemwingie’s goal put the team on the verge of reaching the World Cup knockout stages.

The Stoke City forward’s first-half strike decided a 1-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina in Cuiaba; and the result, while eliminating the Europeans from the tournament, sees Nigeria well-placed to progress from Group F.

A point from Wednesday’s meeting with group leaders Argentina, who defeated Iran 1-0 earlier on Saturday thanks to Lionel Messi’s late goal, would be enough to secure second place. A win would see Nigeria go one better and grab top spot.

And with West African neighbours Ivory Coast and Ghana also making a big impression in Brazil, Nigeria boss Keshi is determined to make sure his team are among the continent’s representatives in the last 16.

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He spoke with FIFA.com.

“Everybody is happy in West Africa; Ghana got their result (2-2 draw with Germany) and we won. It’s good for the continent.

“The fighting spirit we showed was good. I never thought that we wouldn’t make the round of 16. I have the players. But look at Iran today, if it was not for Lionel Messi, [Argentina wouldn’t have won]. We need to work hard for the game against Argentina.”

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Match-winner Odemwingie, who tucked away Emmanuel Emenike’s cross shortly before the half-hour mark, credited his colleagues for sticking together to secure all three vital points at the Arena Pantanal.

“The goal means a lot to me,” he said.

“But the win was down to 90 minutes of concentration and effort from my team-mates.  The most important thing today was the character. We even enjoyed defending together. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this country. Playing for my fatherland is an honour and a pleasure.

“I didn’t expect to score a winner in such an important game, I’m very happy. But this was a point the team earned. Right now, I’m so high on our team’s performance.”

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