Nigeria have not given up hope of reaching the Confederations Cup semi-finals
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has not given up hope of reaching the Confederations Cup semi-finals, despite facing Spain.
Last Updated: 22/06/13 4:38pm
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has not given up hope of reaching the Confederations Cup semi-finals - despite Sunday's final Group B game against Spain.
Keshi's side thrashed Tahiti 6-1 in their opening match of the eight-team tournament in Brazil but then lost their second pool encounter 2-1 to Uruguay on Thursday, leaving them level on points with the South American team.
Spain may take their foot off the gas on Sunday having already secured their place in the last four, but, with Uruguay meeting whipping boys Tahiti, Nigeria know they will likely need to beat Vicente del Bosque's team - and quite heavily - to stand any chance of progressing.
The odds will be stacked against the African champions, with Uruguay fancied to bag a hatful against the minnows, but Keshi has urged his team to believe miracles can happen.
"We can't wait to play them," he said. "Anything can happen. That's what makes this such a great game.
"It doesn't matter who we are playing, as long as the boys do what we want them to do. We will just play our game."
Lamenting Thursday's narrow loss, which looks set to send his side out of the tournament, Keshi reflected: "Against Uruguay they did everything we asked them to do. We had more possession, we had more shots on goal... but we just didn't take our chances."
Fernando Torres scored four times and missed a penalty as Spain cantered to a lopsided victory over Tahiti on Thursday to ease into the knockout stage.
Barcelona's Victor Valdes looks set to become the third goalkeeper to feature for La Roja in the tournament, with Iker Casillas and Jose Reina having been selected between the posts in the first two games.
Del Bosque fielded an entirely different starting 11 two days ago to the one that won the opening game with Uruguay, and indicated afterwards that he would rotate his side again for their final group match.
He said: "The match allowed us to give minutes to everyone. (Against Tahiti) the best players for this specific game played, and on Sunday others will play."
Whoever takes to the field in Fortaleza, Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has warned Nigeria that the Spanish appetite for success remains as great as ever.
"This team never tires of winning but we still want to improve," he said in an interview with Movistar. "We are at a good moment, but we must continue because if you have a bad day you can complicate things."