Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has engraved his name in the history books after his team won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations trophy.
Posted: 11 February 2013 Time: 9:49 am
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has engraved his name in the history books after guiding a relatively young Nigerian team to lift the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations trophy for a third time.
A 40th minute goal from Sunday Mba secured a 1-0 victory for Nigeria over a very resilient Burkina Faso team to ensure that the Super Eagles were once again crowned as the Champions of Africa, ending a nineteen year wait.
The team had to endure lots of criticisms and an initial lack of support from the fans and stakeholders alike, who faulted Keshi's selection of relatively inexperienced players, with only about six players out of his twenty-three-man squad having had previous Nations Cup experience.
With this victory, Keshi has now equalled the record set by Egypt's Mahmoud El-Gohari as the only (living) player to have won the Nations Cup both as a player (1994) and as a coach (2013).
The late El-Gohari won the Africa Cup of Nations as a player in 1959, finishing as the top scorer in that year's edition with three goals all of which came in a game against Ethiopia. He later coached Egypt to victory at Burkina Faso in 1998, with the Pharaoh’s defeating then defending champions South Africa in the final by two goals scored by Ahmed Hassan and Tarek Mustafa.
On his part, Keshi captained the Nigerian team that were crowned African champions at Tunisia in 1994, and his victory nineteen years later has left him as the only man alive to hold the record.
Keshi is also the third West African coach to lift the Nations Cup trophy. Following in the footsteps of Ghana's Charles Kumi Gyamfi who led the Black Stars win the African Cup of Nations trophy three times (1963, 1965 and 1982), and also Yeo Martial who led Ivory Coast to their only Nations Cup title in 1992.
Keshi is now the most successful indigenous coach in Nigerian football history. Europe may have found a 'Special One' in Portuguese coach, Jose Mourinho, but here in Nigeria and Africa at large we know who the 'Big Boss' is.