Coach Stephen Keshi has dedicated Super Eagles 4-1 thrashing of Mali in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations to God and Nigerian fans
Speaking at the post-match conference in Durban, Keshi said that he always knew that his team were going to reach the final if they could qualify from the Group stage.
“I knew the first three matches would be difficult but the moment we got it right, that was it. The atmosphere was wonderful, everything just fell into place. On the final, we will prepare ourselves for the final and whatever comes our way, we would take it. But the important thing is that we thank God we are in the final”
“When I was in Portugal, I had big players who I decided not to take with me for reasons best known to me.
I was experimenting on some new things and needed players who would keep a cool head and fight for the team.
I know there is a lot of talents in this team and it would take time to get to where we want to reach. We thank God that it is really working”
“I dedicate this victory to God and also Nigerians because they missed this sort of thing for a very long time.”
My goal is to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians”
Comparison to 1994 Squad
“The 1994 squad which I captained took us five years to build. This team is just five weeks old.
We are just growing. We are still adding and subtracting. If I see new players who would add quality to the team, I would invite them.
“But I do not know if after the final on Sunday, I would still be in charge of the building process. But the point is that there is talent, the mentality is strong and things are coming up gradually”
On Victor Moses Injury
“The Doctor would do some scan and hopefully, it would not be a bad one because we need all the players in the final. We need everybody in the team for the final match.”
On Foreign coaches
“I am not against white coaches coming to get jobs in Africa. My thinking is that if you want to bring a white coach to Africa, you must bring a very good one, not a carpenter to come and coach us and you say that we are not good. I am not against a white coach”
“Mali is a very strong and good team, with key and talented players like Seydou Keita but they are a bit slow, so we attacked them quickly, by putting the ball to the ground, which worked out well for us”