Super Eagles B coach Salisu Yusuf has attributed his team’s 4-1 pounding in the hands of Ghana in Sunday’s WAFU Cup final to some mistakes on the part of his team but is happy with how the tournament has helped them.
After holding the hosts for most part of the first half, the Eagles fell behind when the defenders afforded Stephen Sarfo too much space and time to score from just inside the box.
Nigeria then gave away two second half penalties before another error from goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa wrapped the day for the Black Stars.
“I think we made some errors and we got punished for it,” Salisu told the assembled media after the final.
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“I think generally we didn’t do our job well but this is football and this is the first time we were conceding. I think the group has done well coming into the final without conceding a goal till the final.”
While Nigeria took a hurriedly assembled side to the sixteen-nation tournament although the bulk of the team came from the CHAN Eagles side which ensured qualification to next year’s African Nations Championships at the expense of Benin last month.
Yusuf admitted at the post-match press conference that playing a six-game tournament has further helped to shape his personnel for the African Nations Championships scheduled to begin in less than four months.
“The most important thing is that we have an idea of our CHAN team now. We know our minuses and we know our pluses. That’s what this tournament has done for us,” stated Salisu.
Defender Olamilekan Aniyikaye, wingers Ubong Friday and Peter Eneji as well as striker Anthony Okpotu are some of the new players Yusuf and his technical crew were able to look into during the competition.