(Sporting Alert) — Ethiopia head into their their final Africa Cup of Nations Group C game against Nigeria sitting at the bottom of the points standings, but know everything would change with a win.
Venue: Royal Bafokeng Stadium, in Rustenburg
Date: Tuesday 29 January
Kick-off: 12:00 ET
Coverage: Live TV coverage on Eurosport and ITV
A draw would knock the Ethiopians out of the tournament, while for Nigeria, a point would only help if Zambia loses to Burkina Faso.
Nigeria, one of the group favourites, have failed to hold on to leads in its previous two games after conceding late equalisers to Burkina Faso and Zambia, respectively and the Super Eagles’ head coach Stephen Keshi wants his team to stop throwing away advantages.
He said: “We have it all to play for against Ethiopia and my wish is that we build a commanding lead and hold it.”
Despite failing to keep the advantage of being in a winning position, Keshi is still backing his players, including captain John Obi Mikel, who has been heavily criticized for his missed penalty kick against Zambia.
“I am standing by my players, especially John Obi Mikel after his penalty miss against Zambia,” said Keshi.
Meanwhile, after making a quiet debut in the last game Chelsea winger Victor Moses faces late fitness tests to see if he is able to play for Nigeria or not. It is also believed that defender and captain Joseph Yobo could also miss the game.
Ethiopia, in the meantime will be looking to bounce back from the 4-0 hammering against Burkina Faso, but head coach Sewnet Bishaw promises to put no pressure on his inexperienced team.
“Before the match I will tell my players to play football and to gain experience out of a huge team like Nigeria,” Bishaw said.
“We are here to play football and everybody is surprised by our football.
“Our mission is to show the rest of the world that we can play football. That is the message to my players.”