Super Eagles secure spot in quarterfinals

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

NIGERIAN soccer legend Stephen Keshi is in line to make history by becoming the first Super Eagles member to win the Africa Cup of Nations title both as captain and coach.

This emerged after Nigeria booked themselves a place in the quarterfinals after a 2-0 win over Ethiopia in Rustenburg last night, courtesy of Victor Moses’s well-taken penalties.

This tension-filled game got off to a fast pace, with both sides gunning for an early lead, but it was the Super Eagles who had the upper hand in the first half.

They used the wings in the early stages to launch their attacks against Ethiopia, who were equally dangerous when approaching the Nigerian goal area.

The Ethiopian team were a much improved side from the one given a 4-0 drubbing by Burkina Faso in Mbombela on Friday.

Guided by Keshi, who won Afcon as captain in Tunisia in 1994, Nigeria tested Ethiopian goalie Baba Bancha as early as the third minute through Oboabona Itama.

They continued to exert pressure and Bancha was called on to save an Uche Ikechukwu header in the 21st minute, with Moses being the supplier.

Ethiopia, making their first appearance in the Afcon finals after 31 years, started showing more aggression in the second half.

One of their attempts saw Nigerian goalie Victor Enyeama saving a shot from Gibeti Kebede in the 55th minute, with Keshi now shouting all sorts of instructions to his midfield to neutralise the marauding Ethiopians.

After scoring from the spot in the 76th minute, Nigeria were awarded a second penalty in the 85th minute when Moses was brought down by Bancha, who was sent off.

Moses made no mistake to send the Super Eagles into the quarterfinals.

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