Nigeria coach still hopeful despite defeat

Mahmoud Mohamed, Thursday 1 Dec 2011

Nigeria U-23 coach says his team can still reach the African Championship semifinals and qualify for London Olympics

Austin Eguavoen
Nigeria Olympic team coach Austin Eguavoen (Photo: Reuters)

Nigerian Olympic team coach Austin Eguavoen said on Thursday that his team’s chances of qualifying for the semifinals of the U-23 African Championship and earn qualification for the 2012 London Olympic Games were still alive despite losing their first two games against Morocco and Senegal.

“We would need to psyche up our players and get them to believe they can still make it through should they win their last match against Algeria,” Eguavoen was quoted as saying on Cafonline after his team lost 2-1 to Senegal.

“We struggled against Senegal in the first half. We did not play well at all and just did not get going, and as a result by the second half when we improved we were already two goals down.”

“We will approach the game against Algeria with the same aim of winning and salvaging some pride but we also know that should results elsewhere go our way we are still in with a chance. It is not so easy,” the coach claimed.

“We need to do a lot of psychological work on the boys, because many of them think that it is all over after this loss but I have to let them know that it’s not over and we can still qualify for the semifinals,” Eguavoen concluded.

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