Super Eagles interim coach Augustine Owen Eguavoen has commended the job done by opponents Guinea-Bissau after their 2-0 loss to Nigeria.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria dispatched the Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau 2-0 thanks to goals from Sadiq Umar and on-pitch captain William Troost-Ekong in their final group D clash in Garoua at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
The former Enyimba and Sunshine Stars boss told journalists during the post-match conference which Ojbsports.com was part that the Djurtus were a strong team physically and mentally.
“I expected or we expected a tough game because [the] Guinea-Bissau side are not a pushover. Very solid, physically very very strong, technically also. So they give us a run for our money but at the end of the day we were able to get those two goals to cancel it.” Eguavoen said.
Sadiq Umar who was spaced opened scoring after tapping home a brilliant outside-foot low squared ball from Kelechi Iheanacho and then Willian Troost-Ekong sent his ball into an empty net after Moses Simon had danced through half of the Guinea-Bissau players in the box but struck the upright.
Coach Eguavoen did not fail to heap plaudits on his players saying they made his technical inputs count on the pitch.
“And then I’m very satisfied with our performance both most credit will go to the players for executing what we told them to do, nine points in the bag.”
Eguavoen also explained the reason why he started Umar Sadiq, a player who has come under heavy criticism from Nigerian fans home and abroad having seen his gameplay while coming from the bench in the first two games.
“Umar Sadiq I kept talking to him because he’s a player who has played for Roma, now he’s in Spain scoring goals and the first two games he came in he couldn’t really find his feet for whatever reason because he’s just coming into a big tournament, maybe it was too big.” He said.
“However, I think he’s performed well and we just wanted to start him today to see how he’ll react not to come in and I think he did very well.” He added.
Nigeria are through to the knockout stages of the African showpiece and it is the second time they will do so with the glitz and glamour of picking all nine points having done so in 2006 when Eguavoen was also the same man leading the dugout.
“No one gave us a chance, from the first game. I will continue to give credit to my players, but people have started respecting Nigeria, but it won’t get into our heads. We will start training more of penalties.”Super Eagles Gaffer, Augustine Owen Eguavoen
Nigeria will soon know their Round-16 opponents as other group games go ahead today.
Nigeria are looking to win their fourth Africa Cup of Nations trophy with their last being the late Stephen-Keshi-led Afcon 2013 winning squad.