Keshi coy over his future as Nigeria's coach

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi was non-committal on his future after his country's FIFA World Cup exit at the hands of France on Monday.

Keshi's men matched their highly rated European opponents for large parts of the last 16 tie, but were undone by familiar set-piece frailties - otherwise outstanding goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama the culprit on this occasion as Paul Pogba opened the scoring after 79 minutes - and a stoppage-time own goal from Joseph Yobo.

Nigeria's performance in the 2-0 defeat was all the more commendable given a row over bonus payments between the players and the Nigeria Football Federation that overshadowed the build-up to the match.

Keshi has endured a similarly tempestuous relationship with his employers, famously tendering and then hastily withdrawing his resignation in the wake of last year's Africa Cup of Nations' triumph.

And the 52-year-old gave little away over his next move when speaking with television reporters after the match in Brasilia.

"I don't know… I don't know," he said when asked directly whether he would continue as Nigeria coach, breaking into a seemingly rueful smile during his limited answer.

Keshi was far more willing to discuss the prospects of his team, who could take plenty of positives from steering Nigeria to the knockout rounds of the World Cup for the first time since 1998.

"It is a young group and there's a lot of room for improvement," he said.

"I think in the next two years this group is going to be a wonderful team."

Keshi feels his players should have no doubt that they can compete with the world's elite, having also run Argentina close in last week's 3-2 Group F loss, but was unhappy to see basic errors stop them from reaching the World Cup quarter-finals.

He added: "Of course, we can always compete with any team. It depends on the heart and desire and other stuff, but we'll play any team.

"You can see it was a good game but the way we lost it is not good.

"It's a pity that we lost because I don't think we merit it based on what we did.

"I don't think we deserved to lose, but this is football."


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