WESTERHOF: MALI CAN’T STOP EAGLES
Ex-Nigeria Manager Says Seydou Keita Must Be Caged
Predicts Eagles/Black Stars Nations Cup Final confrontation
Former Super Eagles technical adviser, Clemense Westerhof, has expressed absolute confidence that Aiglons of Mali will not stop the senior national team’s ambition of winning this year’s edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Westerhof was in-charge of the Eagles in 1994 when Nigeria won the Nations Cup in Tunisia and also played in the FIFA World Cup finals same year in the United States of America, USA.
The Dutch-Gerian, as Westerhof is fondly called by his admirers, told Complete Sports from his native country yesterday that the Super Eagles will not only beat Mali today to zoom into the AFCON final, but will also meet Black Stars of Ghana in the grand finale come February 10.
“Mali (team) is built around Seydou Keita. Once he’s caged, Mali fall like pack of cards,” Westerhof explained as he tried to dissect Super Eagles’ opponents in today’s epic AFCON semi- final confrontation in Durban, South Africa.
“Keshi knows this and I’m sure he will do it. He will tell his players not to allow Keita play as they did to Drogba.”
“He will also tell the players not to allow the Malians get enough space to play. After this, yes, we find ourselves in the final and take the cup home.”
Westerhof who was vocal in looking beyond today’s semi- final match says Nigeria and perennial fellow West African rivals, Ghana, will face each other in the 2013 AFCON final but was optimistic that Super Eagles will triumph.
“Yes, I believe Nigeria and Ghana will play in the final. But don’t be surprised that the Super Eagles will take the cup home,” he predicted confidently.
“It’s possible, I tell you. Keshi is well experienced, he knows Mali inside-out though a few things must have changed.”
“He has coached Togo and Mali before. He has also played under me and as well understudied me and my (coaching) philosophy having worked with me.”
“Yes, he’s doing a wonderful job so far and I’m not surprised at all.”
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