Augustine Eguavoen, the interim coach of the Super Eagles, declared on Sunday that his team did not deserve to lose to Tunisia in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) round of 16 match.
Nigeria was eliminated from the AFCON on Sunday in Garoua, Cameroon, after losing 0-1 to Tunisia.
The North Africans will now play the Stallions of Burkina Faso in the competition’s quarter-finals on the same Stade Roumde Adjia pitch in Garoua.
During the post-match press conference, Eguavoen accused faulty officiating for his team’s elimination from the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon.
He went on to say that his teammates put up a strong fight.
“We tried to come back after the Tunisia goal, and we chased the game. But then we got a red card.
“It was clear that the officiating wasn’t fair,” the coach said.
He did reveal, though, that he had instructed the players to put the loss behind them as soon as possible and focus on the task at hand in March.
”I have told the players to pick up and ensure they qualify Nigeria for the World Cup,” Eguavoen said.
He also did say, though, that playing against a tactical team like Tunisia was always difficult, especially when the calling of the ref was not fair.
“I won’t criticise the referee because they are masters of the game, but Alex Iwobi’s red card wasn’t fair. The foul wasn’t an intentional one,” the coach added.
The Super Eagles will now prepare to face Ghana in the 2022 FIFA World Cup African Zone playoffs in March.