Monday, June 14, 2010

Messi hails Enyeama


Lionel Messi saluted a "phenomenal" display from Vincent Enyeama after the Nigeria goalkeeper produced the performance of his life to deny the Argentine forward in their Group B game on Saturday.

"The goalkeeper was phenomenal," Messi said after Argentina were limited to a 1-0 win over Nigeria at Ellis Park with Enyeama producing a series of tremendous saves to thwart the world player of the year.

"He takes all the credit. We played a great game today and created a lot of chances. We just couldn't get the second goal."

Enyeama said he needed to put on the performance of his life to deny Messi his first goal at the 2010 World Cup. Asked how he stopped Messi from scoring, Enyeama said: "God is my secret, just God. He made me calm."

Argentina's winner came from a corner which followed a superb Messi chip which Enyeama had palmed over.

Midway through the first half, in a trademark cut inside from the right, the little ace hit a curling shot to the far corner only for Enyeama to dive and turn the ball away.

Messi threatened again near the end of the half when he curled a lovely shot toward Enyeama's top right corner with the keeper again leaping to tip the ball wide.

And shortly before the end Enyeama denied Messi once more, blocking a close range shot after the Argentine forward found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

Meanwhile, Pillar of Sports, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, gave kudos to the Eagles for a good fight, despite the loss to star-studded Argentina. He said the Eagles were graceful in defeat. "Nigerians should not lose hope. This team will improve," said the Pillar of Sports.

In a statement signed by Emeka Obasi, Special Assistant (Media) to Dr. Kalu, the former Abia State governor, lauded the boys' fighting spirit, and urged them to go for goals in subsequent matches.

Daily Champion

Related stories:  Lagerback explains Maradona snub

Eagles declare Greece must-win

Video overview of Group B in the 2010 World Cup

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