Keshi recalls another 'Spanish' pounding
Head coach of the Nigeria national team, Stephen Keshi will lead the Super Eagles out to battle against prestigious opposition in the shape of Catalonia on Wednesday night at the Cornella El Pratt, Espanyol in an exhibition game.
Nigeria will use the game as part of preparations for this month’s Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Many Nigerians still recall the first ever meeting between the two sides; an emphatic 5-0 win for Catalonia at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on December 22, 1998 and Keshi has now attempted to draw parallels with a 1-4 defeat suffered by Nigeria against the Basque Nation on December 29, 1999.
Keshi was assistant to Dutchman Johannes Bonfrere as the Super Eagles shaped up for the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations jointly hosted by Ghana and Nigeria.
“I recall facing the Basque Nation as a coach. I still recall when we were preparing for the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations when I was assistant to Bonfrere Jo. We lost that game 4-1. The reason why we lost by such a big margin was because we did not have all our players in camp for that game,” Keshi told supersport.com.< /p>
Nosa Igiebor and Uche Ikechukwu were the latest overseas-based players to join the Nigeria squad and Keshi voiced his sentiments about the number of players at his disposal ahead of the game against the heavily fancied Catalonia side with the Chelsea duo of John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses set to miss out.
“It’s difficult usually difficult to get the full complement of players at such times because the ones that are not on holidays are usually in action for their clubs but we will make do with what we have,” he said.
Wednesday’s game between Nigeria and Catalonia will kick off at 7pm Nigerian time.