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Soccer-Reprieve for Pitroipa is right move for final, says Keshi

By Mike Collett JOHANNESBURG, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has welcomed the decision to overturn the red card shown to Burkina Faso's Jonathan Pitroipa, who is now eligible to play against Keshi's side in Sunday's African Nations Cup final at Soccer City.

Football: Keshi on brink of equalling Africa Cup record

Nigerian Stephen Keshi is on the verge of becoming only the second person to collect Africa Cup of Nations gold medals as a footballer and a coach. The first to achieve the feat was the late Egyptian Mahmoud El Gohary, who helped his country defeat Sudan 2-1 in the 1959 final and guided the Pharaohs to a 2-0 victory over South Africa 39 years later. A towering centre-back, Keshi skippered the Super Eagles to a 2-1 victory over Zambia in an emotional 1994 final with the losers fielding a team rebuilt one year after the national squad was wiped out in a plane crash off Gabon.

Football: Keshi's home-grown Hollywood stars come up trumps

If ever a man had the right to feel smug it was Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi after his heavily-criticised Super Eagles team's stunning Africa Cup of Nations win over Ivory Coast. Keshi's mix of experienced stars and local-based players not only made it into the semi-finals after failing to qualify last year, but they did it the hard way by toppling the competition favourites. And to top a memorable night in Rustenburg the show stealer was not a Premier League star like Chelsea duo Victor Moses or John Obi Mikel, but Sunday Mba, who plies his trade in the Nigerian league.

Soccer-Keshi laughs off critics as Nigeria make it through

By Mike Collett RUSTENBURG, South Africa, Jan 30 (Reuters) - As Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi's media conference was about to begin after their 2-0 win over Ethiopia secured them a place in the African Nations Cup quarter-finals, there was a pained outburst from an apparently disgruntled journalist walking in late. The reporter, clearly known to Keshi, shouted loudly and in an ironic tone: "Well done, Keshi, well done" - the implicit message being: you escaped this time, you will not be so lucky again.

Soccer-Nations Cup wide open as gulf in class decreases - Keshi

By Mike Collett WHITE RIVER, South Africa, Jan 24 (Reuters) - The gap between the best and the rest of the teams at the African Nations Cup is narrowing which is why this year's tournament is wide open, Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi said on Thursday. Keshi, preparing his team for their second Group C match against defending champions Zambia in Nelspruit on Friday, said he had been impressed by all 16 teams who made it to South Africa, and that the days when minnows reached these finals only to lose heavily to bigger teams had gone.
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