Nigeria coach satisfied with Super Eagles' performance despite disappointing start

Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Jan 2024

Nigeria's coach, Jose Peseiro, expressed satisfaction with his team's performance despite their disappointing 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea in their Group A opener of the Nations Cup on Sunday.

Nigeria s head coach Jos Peseiro, before the African Cup of Nations Group A soccer match between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea s at the Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara B Ebimpe in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024. Photo: AP


Peseiro believes that his side was unlucky during the game.

Victor Osimhen, the African Player of the Year, scored a goal in the 38th minute to cancel out Iban Salvador's goal, which gave Equatorial Guinea the lead in the 36th minute.

Despite Osimhen's equalizer in the first half, goalkeeper Jesús Owono produced a series of saves to frustrate Nigeria in the second half.

"We hoped to win this match, and we did everything to win. Our team was better than that of Equatorial Guinea, but we lacked luck," Peseiro stated during the post-match news conference on Sunday. "I am not happy. I believed we deserved to win, and this draw doesn't suit us."

Peseiro acknowledged that Nigeria had created numerous chances but struggled to convert them into goals. He expressed the need for the team to improve their finishing in future matches.

"Our team created a lot of chances, but we didn't score. We hope that next time, even with fewer opportunities, we will be able to score. We simply have to improve our finishing," he concluded.

The draw puts Nigeria under pressure going into their Group A game against hosts Cote d’Ivoire on Thursday.

The Elephants started the tournament with a 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau on Saturday.

Nigeria, aiming for their fourth title after their last victory in 2013, lost in the final the last time the competition was held in Ivory Coast in 1984.

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