Posted by Reuters on
Jay-Jay Okocha is again likely to be sidelined for Nigeria as they seek to secure a quarter-final place at the African Nations Cup finals with a win over Zimbabwe in Port Said on Friday.
CAIRO, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Jay-Jay Okocha is again likely to be sidelined for Nigeria as they seek to secure a quarter-final place at the African Nations Cup finals with a win over Zimbabwe in Port Said on Friday.
The Bolton Wanderers midfielder is still battling with a thigh injury and told Reuters he was doubtful for the game.
The Super Eagles, who beat World Cup finalists Ghana with a late goal in their first Group D game on Monday, showed few signs of missing the influence of their captain, playing in his last event for the country.
Okocha is to retire from international football after the tournament in Egypt.
Nigeria won 1-0 against their long-standing rivals in an impressive start to the tournament with youthful defender Taye Taiwo scoring the winner.
Nigeria meet a team that they beat 3-0 away and 5-1 at home in the two matches they played in a shared qualifying group on route to Egypt.
Zimbabwe, playing in their second Nations Cup finals, lost their opening game to Senegal by two goals on Monday after having a chance to equalise at 1-0 down when new Portsmouth striker Benjani Mwaruwari missed a great chance in front of goal.
'We had a chance to come back into the game if I had scored that goal and everything would have changed. Unfortunately, I missed and they came back and scored once again,' a rueful Mwaruwari told reporters in Port Said.
'I could not believe it because I really thought that I was going to score from there.'
Zimbabwe have been cast as the whipping boys in a tough group and a second defeat would almost certainly cost them any chance of a quarter-final place.
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