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
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

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map