Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro says his team were better than their opponents, Equatorial Guinea but were simply unlucky.
Peseiro made this known while reacting to Nigeria’s 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire.
But beyond the slightly disappointing result, Peseiro said he is satisfied with the performance of his players.
“We hoped to win this match and we did everything to win.
He however expressed disappointment in his team’s inability to convert their chances at goal.
“I am not happy. I deserved to win, this draw doesn’t suit us.
“Our team created a lot of chances but we didn’t score.
“We hope that next time, even with fewer opportunities, we will score.
“We simply have to improve our finishing,” he said.
Osimhen rescues point for Super Eagles
BRANDPOWER reports that Equatorial Guinea frustrated Nigeria with a 1-1 stalemate on Sunday after both sides kicked off their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group A match at Ebimpe’s Alassane Ouattara Olympic Stadium.
A composed finish by Ivan Salvador in the 36th minute saw Equatorial Guinea shock the Super Eagles with the lead.
The celebrations were, however, short-lived as Nigerian hitman, Victor Osimhen, levelled matters with a difficult header that found its way into an empty net to salvage a point for the Nigerians.
With the crowd behind them, Nigeria went in search of the second and were almost rewarded in the 45th minute.
This was when Moses Simon’s well struck effort came off the upright to the relief of Equatorial Guinea.
In the second half, both sides hardly troubled each other’s goals, with both set of defenders doing well to remain disciplined.
Next for Nigeria is a clash that all of Africa will be waiting for with bated breath as they take on tournament hosts, Cote d’Ivoire.
The hosts had opened their campaign with a clinical 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau on Saturday.
Equatorial Guinea on the other hand will be encouraged by the point earned against Nigeria when they face a wounded Guinea-Bissau.
The results see Group A being led by Cote d’Ivoire while Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria are a point above Guinea-Bissau.
BRANDPOWER reports that the Super Eagles will face hosts Côte d’Ivoire, for their second game.
The match scheduled for Thursday at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara in Ebimpe at 5 p.m. will be decisive for the Super Eagles, who have almost no room for error.
NAN reports that Nigeria are making their 20th appearance at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations.
They have won the tournament on three occasions (1980, 1994, 2013) and reached the semi-finals in 14 of their last 17 AFCON participations.
Nigeria were beaten finalists the last time the CAF Africa Cup of Nations was held in Côte d’Ivoire, they lost 3-1 against Cameroon in 1984.
BRANDPOWER reports that this is Equatorial Guinea’s fourth CAF Africa Cup of Nations appearance, but it’s only the second time they have qualified as non-hosts.
They have so far always reached the knockout stages: quarter-finalists in 2012 and 2021, 4th place in 2015.
Ex-internationals criticise kick
Meanwhile, Some ex-internationals have criticised the Super Eagles over their unconvincing performance against Equatorial Guinea in the second Group A match at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpe, Abidjan.
The ex-internationals spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos in reaction to the 1-1 draw played by the Super Eagles against Equatorial Guinea.
Olympics gold medalist, Mobi Oparaku, described the performance of the Eagles as below par.
“I don’t want to say the players are bad or good, but I want to condemn their actions as they played against Equatorial Guinea.
“Our players lack bite, we did not play Equatorial Guinea the way they played us; this country is an underdog in African football. The Eagles lacked possession.
“When the Eagles were in possession, they lacked options, but when their opponents were in possession they had many options. When the Guineans were with the ball, they played with precision.
“We did not play well against them at all. I have said Nigeria has players but not a team,” he said.
Oparaku, also a former Super Eagles right back, said Osimhen could have done better in handling the ball with clear chances to score but he failed to.
“Osimhen needs to brace up, he can’t be missing such chances in games like this.
“The goal against Nigeria was not good at all. Imagine three defenders blocking the goalkeeper’s view.
“I am angry with the way the team played,” he said.
Another ex-international and AFCON 2013 winner, Benedict Akwuegbu, who spoke from his base in the U.K., said poor tactics led to the senior national team’s lackluster performance.
“We played poorly, the coach, Jose Peseiro, played wrong tactics and that was the reason we couldn’t win the match.
“How can Peseiro play with lone striker in this type of match, this is our first match and we need two strikers upfront.
“Our midfielders should have held on to the ball a bit, while Peseiro should have deployed Moses Simon on the right and Samuel Chukwueze on the left to feed Osimhen.
“We should have played more attacking football and put the Guineans under pressure, we need not defend against a country that is not so good,” he said.
Akwuegbu claimed that Nigeria did not play against a big country, so the tactical approach should have been to attack and not defend.
“We should have put pressure on the Guineans and not allow them play and build confidence. If we attack well, Osimhen can score three goals,” he said.
For AFCON 1994 winning Edema Fuludu, Peseiro should take the blame.
“I have said that we lack a good coach, we don’t deserve someone like Peseiro,” he said.