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Ethiopia v Nigeria

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Yobo: Boost for Super Eagles

Yobo: Boost for Super Eagles

Ethiopia has the slimmest chance of qualifying for the quarterfinals and against Nigeria, on paper, do not look like they will get victory on Tuesday.

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The Waliya Antelopes have showed their excitement at being in this Africa Cup of Nations, their first appearance at the tournament since 1982.

The decades of enthusiasm paid off in the first game when they came from a goal down and with 10-men to draw 1-1 with the defending champions Zambia to register their first point.

It is their inexperience, though, that shines through as Burkina Faso ripped them apart in the second round of Group C games.

The Burkinabe won 4-0, ironically with 10 men, and Ethiopia's lack of technical expertise was exposed, leaving them bottom of the group with one point and the ultimate test of beating the Super Eagles.

Captain Adane Girma scored the goal against Chipolopolo and is certainly a player to watch, and that will be so against the robust Nigerian defence who expect their skipper Joseph Yobo back in the team after missing the Zambia clash.

Nigeria's defenders have the experience but it is the very same department that let them down in the dying minutes against Burkina Faso, who scored with only seconds remaining on the clock.

Against Chipolpolo, the Super Eagles were much more composed defensively, conversely it is this quality that the strikers lacked.

Chances were created, and more so wasted, which is something striker Emmanuel Emenike does now want to see happen.

"We need to be more ruthless in front of goal, maybe 1-0 could not be enough to claim victory, so we will do our best to score more goals in our next game," Emenike said.

"As it is now, only victory against Ethiopia can give us the ticket. That means our destiny lies in our own hand and that is why we must give everything on Tuesday."

With speedy winger Ahmed Musa and midfield general John Obi Mikel supporting the attack, football sense says Nigeria should win comfortably but footballs emotive suggest that the eager Ethiopians are due a victory.

Then again, even if Ethiopia does win they will have to hope that Burkina Faso beat or draw with Zambia so that the Waliya Antelopes leapfrog the Chipolopolo into the quarters.

Posted: 28/01/13 15:45

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