FIFA 2014: Eagles’ players foresee selection problems

Super Eagles captain, Joseph Yobo says it will be a tough call for Stephen Keshi to decide on the 23 players he will take to Brazil.

After the national team played out a draw (2-2) against Scotland, the returnee captain extolled the virtues of his team mates adding that Stephen Keshi has a tough task ahead of him.

“Nigeria is blessed with talents and that is why I think all the players here deserve to be in Brazil,” Yobo said.

“We even have some other very good ones still not able to make the team and that is the strength of the Super Eagles.

“If you watch the game against Scotland, you will know that the ‘Big Boss’ (Keshi) needs to be pitied over dropping players and picking those who will make the final 23. It will be tough,” Yobo said.

Another returnees, Stoke City’s Osaze Odemwingie was happy with the response of his team mates to his return.

He also shared captain, Yobo’s sentiments on dropping players.

“How do we drop players now from this squad? Everybody here is good but we should leave that to the coach. I know it would be a tough task.”

Gordon Strachan’s brandy

Meanwhile, Scotland Manager, Gordon Strachan presented Stephen Keshi with a bottle of customized brandy with the name “Famous Keshi” just before the game.

When Keshi received the gift in the presence of Team Administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor and Media Officer Ben Alaiya he was shocked and wished he could reciprocate it immediately.

“This is true friendship in football and we all, especially Nigerians must start to imbibe this type of gesture,” Keshi said.

He added that someday he would find an opportunity to reciprocate.
“Imagine a fellow coach branding my name on a drink. It has never happened in my entire life, please help me thank him,” an emotional Keshi said in the Nigerian dressing room.

How they played

Substitute Uche Nwofor's late strike denied Scotland victory against Nigeria at Craven Cottage.

Charlie Mulgrew skilfully diverted James Morrison's strike into the net to give Scotland the lead before Michael Uchebo levelled with a deflected shot.

An own goal by Azubuike Egwuekwe turned the match back in the Scots' favour early in the second half.

World Cup-bound Nigeria pressed for a second equaliser and were rewarded when Nwofor fired home on the turn.

Gordon Strachan's men were bidding to become the first Scotland side since 1951 to win four successive away matches.

And they started brightly at the neutral venue with Ikechi Anya firing a low drive on to the post via the heel of Kunle Odunlami.

Scotland's new-look back four, which included Dundee United's Andrew Robertson making his first international start, found themselves under pressure when they conceded possession to Uchebo but Allan McGregor saved the shot.

Having narrowly escaped on that occasion, Strachan's men sought to capitalise on a set piece and duly delivered.

Shaun Maloney and Anya teed up Morrison for a low shot that was looped over goalkeeper Austin Ejide by the outside of Mulgrew's left boot.

The ball was in the Nigeria net again when Grant Hanley rose to meet another Maloney corner but English referee Lee Probert awarded a foul against the Scotland defender for his challenge on Ejide.

Nigeria gradually worked their way back into the match and Shola Ameobi, recently released by Newcastle, volleyed Ejike Uzoenyi's into the hands of McGregor.

But the Scottish keeper could do nothing when Uchebo's shot spun into the net off Hanley.

In the first of many substitutions, Derby's Chris Martin made his Scotland debut at the start of the second half as a replacement for Steven Naismith.

McGregor got down well to block an Ameobi shot and Scotland once again found themselves ahead after an important save from the Hull stopper.

Hutton's driven cross was knocked back towards goal by Egwuekwe and Odunlami could not prevent the ball from crossing the line.

At the other end, substitutes Nosa Igiebor and Peter Odemwingie played a one-two before the former drew a save from McGregor.

Maloney then converted Hutton's low cross but was correctly flagged offside.

Chances continued to come Scotland's way and George Boyd, on for Morrison, set up Martin for a strike that Ejide blocked.

Martin's club-mate Craig Forsyth joined the fray for his Scotland debut when the impressive Robertson came off, while the introduction of Celtic's Efe Ambrose for Odunlami was Nigeria's sixth change.

Nwofor, who had replaced Ameobi, twice threatened with headers before he capitalised on some slack defending to net the final goal.

Hanley's attempted clearance ricocheted off Nnamdi Oduamadi into Nwofor's path and the Heerenveen forward drilled past McGregor from close range.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (10)

16 Ejide
12 Odunlami (Ambrose Emuobo - 75' )
03 Echiéjilé
04 Obi (Igiebor - 53' )
06 Egwuekwe
02 Yobo
29 Babatunde (Oduamadi - 66' )
28 Gabriel
23 Sh Ameobi (Nwofor - 62' )
25 Uchebo (Odemwingie - 55' )
15 Uzoenyi (Moses - 61' )


05 Ambrose Emuobo
08 Odemwingie
11 Moses
13 Oshaniwa
14 Oboabona
20 Igiebor
21 Agbim
24 Nwofor
26 Azeez
27 Oduamadi
30 Akpeyi


01 McGregor
02 Hutton
03 Robertson (Forsyth - 77' )
07 Mulgrew
04 Greer
05 Hanley
10 Maloney
08 Brown Booked
09 Naismith (Martin - 45' )
06 Morrison (Boyd - 63' )
11 Anya (Whittaker - 84' )


12 Marshall
13 Whittaker
14 Burke
15 Martin
16 Bannan
17 Berra
18 Griffiths
19 Boyd
20 Bryson
21 Gilks
22 McCormack
23 Pawlett
24 Reynolds
25 Forsyth

Match Report culled from
By Andy Campbell BBC Sport Scotland

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