Amodu: Nigeria can do it
Under-fire Shaibu Amodu was more worried about the reputation of Nigeria being damaged rather than his own position during last night's quarter-final win over Zambia in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations.
The Super Eagles coach, who has been heavily criticised throughout the tournament in Angola, witnessed another unconvincing display by his team in Lubango as they survived heavy pressure from their opponents to eventually prevail 5-4 on penalties.
The victory set up a semi-final meeting with west African rivals Ghana, in a repeat of their last-eight meeting in 2008. The Black Stars emerged victorious on that occasion.
"I was worried about the reputation of Nigeria, not for my position," Amodu insisted. "It would not have been good to be eliminated again in the quarter-finals.
"We had to overcome this obstacle, because Zambia are a very good team, attacking and defending together. I told my players that this would be one of our toughest matches."
The Nigeria coach added that he has never doubted his players since the opening day of the competition. "Since the first day, we said we had a team that could win the tournament," he said. "I know I have players who can do it."
Today we have not played too well but it was good to speak as a team. It is not the best right now, but getting better all the time, and within five months we will be much better."