Eagles’ performance excites diplomats, coach

The Nigerian ambassadors to Venezuela and Argentina promise support for the Eagles at the South Africa games next year

The Super Eagles win against Venezuela in the international friendly matched played in Miami, USA, has got their coach, Stephen Keshi; Nigeria’s Consul General in New York, Jeffrey Temilabe; and Nigeria’s ambassador to Argentina, Chive Kaave, excited.

Mr. Temilabe addressed the team after the match in the company of the Nigerian Ambassador to Argentina. He said the Eagles brought back memories of the team’s domination of African football.

He said he will put in words at the highest level of governance so that the team will be well supported ahead of the Nations Cup championship in South Africa next year.

The Nigerian Ambassador to Argentina, Chive Kaave, who was also a board member of the Nigeria Football Federation, thanked the team and the coach for returning the country to its glory days in football.

“This team must be supported at all times because I see a trophy coming soon to Nigeria through the hard work that has been put in here,” he said.

Nigeria Football Federation President, Aminu Maigari, assured the team of President Goodluck Jonathan’s backing at all times.

“The President, I am sure, must have watched you play and as he told you when he visited, you will not lack any form of support, let’s just keep the flag flying at all times”, he said.

Meanwhile, excited residents of Miami city, say they want the Nigerian national team back soonest following their exciting display against Venezuela.

A Venezuelan fan, Marcos Bandwitch, said “we want you to come back and play here and make us love football more because baseball is our game here but you have made us like football”.

Incidentally, Nigeria and Venezuela are the first team to play a soccer game at the Marlins Park, which was built only eight months ago.

Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, was boisterous at the end of the friendly encounter between his team and the Venezuelan national team.

Speaking at the post match conference, Keshi said he was simply excited by the performance of his players especially the newcomers to the team.

“Look at that goal by Nosa Igiebor, it was a television goal and I was excited when it came, it shows we can do great things if we psyche ourselves up very well.

“At half time, I told them, put the ball on the ground and play quick and the goals will come and I was not surprised that once they did that the goals started to come. Like I will always say, it’s still work in progress and we can only get better,” he said.

Keshi also had special words for Eagles debutantes, Shola Ameobi, and Bright Dike.

“Shola was awesome the moment he got into the pitch. He showed his experience in the game and even when he was provoked his calmness was amazing. He was talking to the other players on what to do at a time we were under pressure and he was resilient, we sure need his experience for big tournaments.

“Look at the way and manner he shielded the ball, evaded being brought down before passing to Mba, who also gave it to Onazi for our third goal, Shola is a special player,” Keshi said.

On Dike, the coach said, “He is quick, aggressive and always coming back to defend and it was difficult for anyone to say this was the first time he was playing for Nigeria. I’m so happy that Bright did not disappoint and we will see when camp opens what he can do for the team.”

Keshi also applauded the entire team but noted that his defence line was a bit shaky, because gangling defender, Azubuike Egwueke was suffering from back pains.

“We just asked him to hang on and he did very well, otherwise every other person in the defence line was very good,” he said.

The coach said Nigeria is gradually returning to the days of honour in football and he is happy to be part of the rebuilding process.

“Let us all join hands to return the game to the height that it was when we were playing, no matter the grouse we may have,” he said.

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