Ebinum tips Eagles over Mali
Warri Wolves' striker, Azuka Ebinum has predicted victory for Super Eagles against the Eagles of Mali in Wednesday's semifinal clash in Durban at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Nigeria edged pre-tournament favourites, Cote d'Ivoire 2-1 in the quarterfinals while Seydou Keita inspired Malian side to shock hosts, South Africa in gruelling penalties shootout to pave the way for the semifinal clash in Durban.
Ebinum said the Nigerian side have weathered the biggest challenge with the elimination of the Ivorians insisting that the Malians cannot stop the Nigerians at this stage of the competition.
"I told whoever that bothered to hear that the Super Eagles would triumph over the Elephants of Cote d'Ivoire, that's history now, I equally want to say emphatically that victory will come the Nigerians way against the Malians on Wednesday.
"I'm not saying Mali will lay back and allow their Nigerian counterparts to overrun them but the height the Super Eagles are operating after the stunning victory against Cote d'Ivoire I don't see the Malian side stopping Keshi's wards from inching into the final.
"I'll still want the players to play on the part of caution and avoid all forms of distraction but keep focus and concentration throughout the duration of the game," said the former Niger Tornadoes' hitman to supersport.com.
Ebinum, who is still on cloud nine over the five-star performance of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) players at the Afcon, wants the Eagles' manager, Stephen Keshi to give more opportunities to the domestic lads on the bench.
"Godfrey Oboabona and Sunday Mba have been worthy ambassadors of the home-based players, they've made us proud. We now walk in the streets very tall and I pray Keshi to give others on the bench playing opportunities, I'm certain they'll deliver the goods," he said.
Home boys like Gabriel Reuben, Ejike Uzoenyi, Azubuike Egwuekwe and goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim are yet to feature in an Afcon match.