Yobo tells Nigeria to raise game or go out

Nigeria defender Joseph Yobo is counting on his team-mates to produce a winning performance when they face Benin in a crucial Africa Cup of Nations encounter in Benguela today.

The Super Eagles are still smarting after they were beaten 3-1 by defending champions Egypt earlier this week and anything less than a win would put them on the brink of an early exit.

The defeat on Tuesday was made harder to bear considering they took the lead in the game, but the captain wants to forget the past and look to the future. "This team feel bad about what has happened and we know it is time to step up our game to avoid an early elimination from this championship," he said.

"No one is happy about the result, and we are looking forward to giving our all in the next games." The Everton centre-half has promised to remain strong in the days ahead, adding: "We have a match against Benin and then we go to Lubango on Wednesday to play Mozambique. Now we have our backs to the wall and we know we must perform. We will lift our game and do Nigeria proud."

Striker Peter Odemwingie, who missed the opening game through injury, is fit again and certain to feature, but Obafemi Martins is unavailable.

Benin, who have two Nigeria-born players in their ranks in Razak Omotoyossi and Muri Ogunbiyi, will be equally desperate to get something out of the game if they are to keep their chances of progress alive.

They threw away a two-goal lead in their opening game against Mozambique to draw 2-2 and coach Michel Dussuyer knows they now have plenty to do to. "I am disappointed with the way we played, especially after the start," he said. "I have spoken to the players and they know what we have to do against Nigeria."

Egypt coach Hassan Shehata is refusing to look too far into the future ahead of their second group game against Mozambique today. Shehata's side, who are pursuing a third straight title in Angola, can all but assure themselves a place in the quarter-finals with a win in Benguela following their impressive win over Nigeria.

Not all has been plain sailing in the build-up to the game, with reports from the north Africans' camp suggesting Hosni Abd-Rabou, Hossam Ghaly and Wael Gomaa are struggling with a virus. Nonetheless, Shehata is fully focused on the job on hand. "We did well in the opening game against Nigeria, but we must continue the good work when we play Mozambique," he said.

Apart from the virus, there are no serious injury worries for Egypt. Mozambique, meanwhile, will be buoyed by their fightback from 2-0 down to draw with Benin in their opener. It was a memorable point for coach Mart Nooij and one that gives his side a fair chance of qualifying.

The striker Manuel Bucuane admitted it was not the preferred result, but still feels optimistic ahead of the game with Egypt. He said: "We made some silly mistakes and conceded two goals, but we came back strongly. It was a game we targeted all three points, but we managed a draw which is not bad."

Match Guide: Fixtures

*Nigeria v Benin

Group C, 4pm (Eurosport)

Nigeria face a must-win game following their surprising opening defeat against Egypt. The Super Eagles began Tuesday's match well before going down 3-1 and should be confident of better against an unfancied Benin side. The Squirrels threw away a two-goal lead against Mozambique and could pay dearly for that today.

*Egypt v Mozambique

Group C, 6.30pm (Eurosport)

Defending champions Egypt can guarantee a place in the quarter finals with a win in Benguela tonight, although they may have to do without Hosni Abd-Rabou, Hossam Ghaly and Wael Gomaa, who are all struggling with a virus. Opponents Mozambique came from behind in their opener to earn a draw against Benin but should prove easy pickings for Egypt.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before