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Cheering on Nigeria

Over in the African Cup of Nations, two of our players will have the maximum stay in the competition.

John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses were both part of the Nigerian team that thrashed Mali 4-1 to reach the final.

In the final, Nigeria will face Burkina Faso who, after drawing their semi-final 1-1, emerged victorious on penalties by 3-2.

The final promises to be quite an occasion and we hope that our two lads return with winners, it`d make their prolonged absence worth while don`t you think!

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The Journalist

Writer: Merlin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday February 7 2013

Time: 7:00PM

Your Comments

Good article Merlin, but by saying two of our players, you are discounting Kenneth Omeruo. Last time I checked, he is a Chelsea player, albeit on loan.
@Bluebird...was about to point that out as well^^^..all the best to the three of them come sunday...they need to hurry back to the bridge after the celebrations though (if they win)...we need them and quite badly.
We have so many players out on loan that it is easy to forget who they are or how they even look. I will be honest i did not even remember this guy Omeruo was on our team. Also though I didnt watch the match but saw on Fox soccer that pundits were indicating that the officiating in the Ghana-Bukina Faso match was reportedly diabolically bad with multiple very questionable decisions going Ghana's way almost as though there were a conspiracy to ensure Ghana reached the finals. I would be interested in hearing what those who watched the match feel.
with the way mikel has played in this competition makes me think its position that makes him really dormant in games , because the mikel for nigeria is def not the guy playing for chelsea
Don capon
It's not true that there was any conspiracy to ensure Ghana reach the final in my opinion coz if it was so Gyan would have won at least two penalties and even so Paul Kaliubaly would have been sent off for intentionally kicking Gyan twice in the game. I wouldn't say the referee was perfect though coz there were some calls for penalty by Burkinabees which appeared genuine but were turned down. Ghana also had similar shouts turn down. I totally disagree with the conspiracy theory.
@gabeu,that tunisian ref made clattenburg look like a saint but i was glad justice prevailed atlast as burkina faso deservedly won the game against all odds and the ref in question has been suspended by CAF for poor officiatin
@botum,there might be no conspiracy anywhere but the disgraceful performance of referee slim jdidi left everyone(except maybe ghanians) with no choice but to think there is a deliberate ploy to ensure bukina-faso do not win the is what Gaulbert kabore(a burkinabe team manager) said about the performance:"There were some scandalous decisions,we dont know why,we are asking lots of questions.There are lots of theories".."curiously,the players reacted better than us(team management)they said if the referee is against us that mean we are the stronger side"..
Now to Nigeria,i wish the super eagles all the best..they seem to grow from strength to strength with each passin game,our boys(mikel,moses,omeruo) have been fantastic..the mikel i see here in s/a is totally another mikel,he is the heart of the Nigerian midfield,he has been amazingly creative,every thing they do on the pitch passes through him,his composure on the ball is superb,moses and omeruo have equally been sensational..finally,would be at the stadium on sunday flying my blue flag and cheering the boys on green(Nigeria)
I heard the referring was diabolical as well...It happens in football tbh. I've not really watched any of the AFCON games except the Nigeria vs Ivory Coast game,so i can't really rate Burkina faso team. In truth CAF would probably make more money and sell more TV right if we had Nigeria vs Ghana final. I hope the lads come back as champions of Africa.
@GabeU the officiating was bad, actually i was suspecting conspiracy, first" the spot kick against Burkina Faso was too soft then Burkina Faso equalized and then again Burkina Faso scored a clean gaol that was disallowed by the center referee for no just reason and sending off Burkina Faso player who was brought down by a Ganian player inside the area but the rest is story know
NO. I do not like their brand of football. And we need Moses so NO
But I am curious about Omerou, though history teaches us that Chelsea have droves of GOOD defenders that we loan out and never care about again. Bruma, Kalas, Omerou, Mancienne etc etc etc
Burkina Faso were underestimated. Their wingers and their striker Bance are talented. Ghana choked again.
I watched the game and i must say the referee was a joke(red carded their winger when he cld have given a penalty,ruled out a scored goal and other incidents).otherwise why was he suspended by CAF?i felt so sorry for bukinabees bt @ the end,justice was done.
I'm not really sure if that ref hav been suspended cus last time i heard that the ref who officiated nig/zam match hav been sent parkin from the tournament due to some questionable decision, we later saw him as the 4th official in the algeria/ivory coast match. Dnt believe anytin comin out of caf.
prince china
i have been so heart broken about everything going on in and around SB, but thanks to my darling Super Eagles, i now have reasons to smile and be Happy, GO NIGERIA! LIFT THE TROPHY!!! MAKE ME PROUD!!!
Burkina Faso team is much more difficult than the Ghanian team. We drew with them in the group stage after 1 goal lead and they were one man down. They also have some beast of a striker named Bance. Imagine Drogba and Lukaku combined with some stamina and Sagna's hair on him with the Chris Brown color. Burkina Faso topped our group on GD. Equally important to Moses and Mikel is Kenneth Omeruo. The boy has talent and I hope Chelsea don't look to buying another 30mm pounds defender again. Don't want to call him a kid but a man will be more appropriate. He is going to be one to watch out for in the future. I think he is a better than the likes of Mancienne, Bruma and co.
@obex : also in the opening minutes burkina were denied a stone wall penalty when pitoria (that was his name i guess) was bundled to the floor in the box. Over all the ref hugely favored Ghana but they were denied a clear penalty as well. i think it had more to do with incompetence than conspiracy, but i wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be the latter, CAF is a more corrupt organization than FIFA.
Moses is the life wire of nigeria's attack and why he is excelling is because our coach steven okechuwkwu keshi believed in him and gave him some responsibilities which brought a maturity in moses's game that is not yet evident in his game for chelsea, the same thing goes with mikel, he have been the orchestrator and one of our top assist players in the tournament, he got atleast 3 shots on target in this tournament and also makes some defence splitting passes both aerially and on the ground, as I said on the day we were playing mali, I wonder which mikel is playing for chelsea, I hope rafa can take his time to watch the ivory coast game, the mali game and the final, it will really enlighten him about the strength of these players and their weaknesses, he can make use of the strengths positively for the team and work on their weaknesses too to bring out the best in the team, pertaining to omeruo, if this lad trains with the likes of terry and cahill for two years, he'll be a beast and we won't need to buy the likes of okore anymore
Glad to hear that Mikel had a good tournament... I agreed with Desmondadonis that Rafa and our future coach need to relook the role Mikel shall be playing for Chelsea. He could be slow for us as he is playing a DM but who knows if he is playing a little advance or with a DM behind him, he could be excellent...
To be honest,mikel has been a moving engine in the naijas team.atleast i'v watched all of their game n am talking from what i'v seen.come sunday,i wish him,victor n ken all the best.
@prince china,it was confirmed ref jedidi from tunisia was suspended.
Ive seen 2 games now and Mikel has been playing like Pirlo for them. He seems to always have time on the ball even under pressure,I wish we could just put him in the Centre and play a dm behind him. He's been making some crazy passes and ive just been wowed by his game.An important factor i have noticed though is,He is the leader of that team and almost every play goes through him,i believe that has added some sort of maturity to his all round game. Moses has been the inspiration for the team and he has to be the MVP in my opinion. He's done almost everything upfront for them. The Management should simply recall Kenneth. How he will fare in the midst of icons like Terry and Luiz is yet to be seen but if he is given enough confidence to just relax and do his thing,we do have another Nigerian Gem in our ranks. One last thing....In my opinion,Mikel's performances in Africa is enough proof that he can excel in our midfield and we have simply been holding him back by asking him to play for the team. Another player would have done a sturridge or walcott and requested to play in his prefferred position. Shows his love for the club and how unselfish he is.
Cmon you blues in temporary Green...Make the SB faithful proud... :)
@kakufrank, it was the other way around. Nigeria had d red card it was efe ambrose... Both teams deserve to be there but d Nigerian team is better
I have thoroughly enjoyed the afcon tournament. The nigerian team have surprised even themselves by their performance. This is actually a new team and the coach made a bold step dropping some experienced players that would have been demanding starting berths even when they dont merit it and that has greatly helped the team. 17 out of the 23players are tournament debutants. Will be cheering them on sunday.
Chelz Akamz
I am Malian, but I was happy for my Chelsea trio.

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