World Cup 2014

Nigeria's Super Eagles will soar above Iran, says coach

Stephen Keshi is banking on the combination of youth and experience to see last year's African Nations' Cup champions conquer their rivals

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 June, 2014, 8:26pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 June, 2014, 11:22pm

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi believes getting the better of his opposite number Carlos Queiroz will be the biggest challenge for his side as they take on Iran in their World Cup opener on Tuesday morning.

The Super Eagles have taken two points from six matches in their last two World Cup appearances, but have higher hopes this time around after winning the African Nations' Cup last year.

"Their coach is their biggest weapon because he's well experienced, he knows the game well," Keshi told

Youth is good, but if we can combine youth and experience that will be great
Stephen Keshi

"For the Iran game, we have to be focused. We have to concentrate and do our job. We're not going to take Iran lightly because they're not going to take us lightly, so we have to go out with everything that we have.

"They have a very good coach and I'm sure they also have some quality players. We don't know Iran very well, but we'll see them."

Nigeria's campaign will be spearheaded by Chelsea's John Obi Mikel and goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, while captain Joseph Yobo could make his 100th appearance for his country against Argentina in the final group game.

And Keshi is relying on them to guide his young squad.

"You can't buy this sort of experience. I pray that Enyeama, Yobo and Obi Mikel will bring all their experience. Youth is good, but if we can combine youth and experience that will be great."

They are one of the few unknown quantities in the competition with 14 of their 23-man squad still playing in their domestic league. But they excelled in qualifying and topped a group.


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