Keshi wants ruthless Eagles

2014-06-26 09:28
Stephen Keshi (Supplied)
Stephen Keshi (Supplied)
Cape Town - Stephen Keshi believes his Nigeria side showed "too much respect" to Argentina following their 3-2 defeat in Porto Alegre on Wednesday.

Ahmed Musa managed to match Lionel Messi stride for stride as the Super Eagles forward twice cancelled out goals from the Barcelona superstar, although La Albiceleste were not to be denied as Marcos Rojo's 50th minute goal eventually proved decisive.

Nigeria still managed to progress through to the last-16 in Brazil after finishing Group F in second, behind the Argentines, although Keshi was less than impressed with his side's showing on the night.

"We showed too much respect to Argentina in the first half. I did not like it," the coach said after the game.

"But second half, we came out. We've started playing our football. If we had done that in the first half, I think it would have been a different ball game."

Nigeria will now face Group E winners France in the first knockout round, and Keshi admits his side will need a big improvement if they are to avoid an early plane ticket home.

"We need to improve everywhere. We are coming back to our shape. The rhythm has started picking up and we are just going to go with it," he said.

"The boys are more relaxed. They are now more focused on the tournament. We had been apart for a while so it was never going to be easy to get that rhythm immediately.

"There’s progression in the team which is good."

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