Rustenburg, South Africa - Nigeria head coach Stephen Keshi has expressed his gratitude to all his compatriots for believing in him, after his team downed favourite Cote d'Ivoire 2-1 in the quarter-final of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa on Sunday.
“I thank you all....I thank God for this achievement. I also thank my players and the Nigerian media who believed in me and kept telling me that my team can achieve,” Keshi told journalists after the match in Rustenburg.
“I am glad that my team has progressed after crossing the biggest obstacle so far. Before now, people only gave us about 20 per cent chances of success, but I think they will start believing in us. We too will not rest on our oars as we know that attention is now focused on us,” he said
Analysts said Nigeria has now emerged as the new title favourite, after the elimination of Cote d'Ivoire which had been largely tipped to win the tournament.
The coach said he was proud of his boys, especially those among them from the local league, adding: “I have more than 120 per cent confidence in all the boys and I know they can deliver,” said Keshi.
A player from the local league, Sunday Mba, scored the second goal that gave the Super Eagles victory in the match.
Nigeria is due to meet Mali in the first semi-final on Wednesday in Durban, while Ghana will take on Burkina Faso in Mbombela in the second semi-final on the same day.