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Published On: Wed, Jun 18th, 2014

Keshi Blames Osaze For Failure in Iran Match, Promises Better Performance in Next Two Matches

Osaze Odewingie (Left) and Stephen Keshi

LAGOS JUNE 18TH (URHOBOTODAY)- The Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has explained why his team did not prevail over Iran in Nigeria’s first FIFA World Cup match held Monday.
Speaking about the game which ended in a 0-0 draw despite high expectations placed on Nigeria, Keshi pointed out several factors that caused the failure, one of them was that Osaze Odemwingie did not follow the instructions, which resulted in the team’s setback.
Keshi, who waited until the 69th minute to let Stoke City striker play, said, “The Osaze you are talking about didn’t do well. Osaze did not play to instructions and that affected the team.”
Keshi, however, assured that all hopes were not lost in spite of the team’s drab goalless draw against the Melli of Iran on Monday.
“We had all expected to wrap up the game within the first 20 minutes, but tension, anxiety and frustration combined to adversely affect the team,’’ Keshi said at a post match conference.
“But you know this is football. It is not the end of the World Cup; the boys had tried to score goals many times and their failure to secure early goals must have led to anxiety.
“We will give our best in the two matches left.
“I tried to offer advice to the boys at the end of the first half, but you know I cannot jump into the field to play for them because that will not be possible.
“The boys made their promises but did not quite get over it,’’ an apparently disappointed Keshi said.
Meanwhile the Eagles ex-captain Austin Okocha speaking with BBC had previously criticized his colleague’s approach in the game and said that Osaze (who actually made the only dangerous shot) showed more creativity than other players.
It would be recalled that Osaze was a 69th minute replacement for Ramon Azeez. However the coach, who led his team to 2013 AFCON victory, insisted that he was right about the main squad and the substitutions made.
On June 21 Nigeria is to meet Bosnia-Herzegovina’s team, which showed great game against the group strongest opponent Argentina but still lost with the score 2-1.

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