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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan, 25, 2008

Pressure on Nigeria in Mali test

ELMINA, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Twice winners Nigeria face the prospect of being sent packing from the African Nations Cup if they lose to Mali on Friday.

The Super Eagles, having lost their Group B opener against Ivory Coast 1-0, will be eliminated if they suffer defeat and the Ivorians beat Benin in the day's first game at the Essipon stadium.

Nigeria have reached the semi-finals of every tournament since 2000 and coach Bertie Vogts is not too worried.

'My players have a good team spirit and I know they'll give everything they have to go through,' said Vogts, who steered Germany to the European Championship title in 1996.

Benin, playing in their only second Nations Cup, welcome back midfielder Mouri Ogoubiyi to face the Ivorians.

Ogoubiyi was excluded from the squad by coach Reinhard Fabisch for indiscipline but the player has apologised.

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