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Monday, June 18, 2007

Ex-QPR's Danny Shittu Helps Nigeria Towards African Nations Cup

Eagles land in Ghana 2008 - …Beat Niger 3–1
Sun 0 By CHIMAOBI UCHENDU Monday, June 18, 2007

"Baring a shocker from Lesotho in the last home match, Nigeria’s Super Eagles are home and dry for the Nations Cup in Ghana in January 2008.
Eagles, yesterday (Sunday), in Niamey, secured a fourth win in the qualifying duel as they beat Niger’s Mena 3–1 to extend their lead on top of Group 3 by five goals.
The match, which started slowly, gained momentum in the closing stages of the first half, as Eagles dictated the pace in all departments and scored the opening goal through Skipper Kanu Nwankwo in the 40th minute with a well connected header.
The goal wh ich caught Niger keeper off his line added tension in the defence of the hosts, as they committed blunders at the backline, but were lucky not to conceed more goals before the blast of the referees whistle signaling the end of the first half.
Upon resumption of the second half, the hosts came out more purposeful unlike the first half, knocking the balls perfectly but were always stopped by Eagles defence led by Watford of Eangland defender, Danny Shittu...
. REport

And Pre-Match: Tides - Shittu confident of Eagles’ success
Saturday, Jun 16, 2007

Super Eagles’ defence strongman, Danny Shittu has expressed confidence that Nigeria will prevail over Niger in their Cup of Nations tie scheduled for tomorrow in Niamey.

He declared from their training camp in Abuja on Wednesday; “I am quite impressed with the training and team spirit in our camp here in Abuja. I believe this will be sustained until we take on Niger on Sunday.”

He added “I am happy with the level of commitment and dedication shown so far by the players in camp; and this is a positive development for the team.”

Shittu therefore appealed to Nigerians to give the national team the required support to enable them prevail over their opponents in the vital Cup of Nations battle.

The Watford defender who played a full game for Nigeria against the Cranes of Uganda in Kampala a forthnight ago stated “Nigerians should put our unfortunate loss to Uganda behind them and give us the required support so that we will beat Niger in the crucial qualifier game for the Ghana 2008 African Cup of Nations. “He further appealed to Nigerians not to lose faith in the national team following their recent loss to the Cranes of Uganda in the African Cup of Nations preliminary tie in Kampala.

“It is a pity we lost that game to Uganda, especially being my first full one for the country. I can understand why Nigerians are unhappy with us, but they should understand that football can be unpredictable.”

The strong defender stressed, “It is a pity really that we lost the game as a result of two penalty kicks awarded against us by the referee that handled our game. But for those penalties, there was no way they could have penetrated our defence. I am happy that I was part of the team even though we lost. Nigerians should exercise patience and give us the support needed to beat Niger in Niamey.” Report

[And in transfer gossip, Shittu has recently been linked to Wigan, Reading and Birminham and Fulham.]

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