Naby Keita is refusing to give up on the possibility of his country, Guinea making it to the last 16 of the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt despite suffering a 1-0 loss to Nigeria on Wednesday, Completesports.com reports.
Keita failed to spark Guinea’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign into life as central defender, Kenneth Omeruo’s goal sent Nigeria into the last 16.
The Liverpool star returned to fitness to make his first start for either club or country since May 1, but could not inspire Guinea who are now in real danger of suffering an early exit from the 2019 AFCON.
Guinea goalkeeper, Ibrahim Kone had been the star performer with two excellent saves from a pair of Alex Iwobi efforts, but his display proved fruitless as Omeruo’s header ended Nigeria’s four-match winless streak against the Syli Nationale.
Keita’s underwhelming return came to an end in the 71st minute when he was replaced by Alhassane Bangoura and Guinea’s resistance was broken moments later courtesy of Omeruo’s glancing header.
The Guinean midfielder has, however, insisted that it is not all over until it is: “It wasn’t our day today (Wednesday) but we did all we could and played to our level best.
“We have to keep our heads high and move to the next match with an aim to win. It is not yet over and we will fight till the end,” Keita summed up.
Guinea must defeat Burundi in their last Group B game at the All Salam Stadium Cairo on Sunday, June 30 to stand a chance of reaching the knockout phase. Nigeria and Burundi will also clash on Sunday at the Alexandria Stadium in the other matchday-3 Group B match. The two games will be played simultaneous from 5pm Nigerian time.
By Oluyemi Ogunseyin