By JOE APU
Super Eagles’ Coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, has said that he would not crucify Chelsea star, John Mikel Obi for the penalty he missed in the match against Zambia after David Nkausu brought down Ahmed Musa inside the box in the 26th minute. Keshi noted that he was happy with the result of the match though he had hoped to take all the three points against the champions.
“There’s no specialist when it comes to taking penalties and for Mikel, this is not the first time he is playing a penalty for the Super Eagles,” the coach noted. He recalled that back in the qualifying round, Mikel scored from the penalty spot against Liberia in the 6–1 win of the Super Eagles as well as against Farense FC in the team’s last warm up game in Faro, Portugal.
“No one is blaming Mikel for the penalty miss. All we need to do now is to focus on the next game against Ethiopia because what happened in this game may not happen in that.” While he is not underrating the Ethiopians with an overwhelming support base, Keshi admitted that it would be a tough encounter, but said that the Super Eagles would face the task clearly because the outcome would decide Nigeria’s fate.
“Every game has its own spirit and the way we played (yesterday) would not be the same way we would play against Ethiopia on Tuesday. But I can assure you that we will face them squarely and give our best to ensure that we win,” he said.