Football fans in Kaduna have expressed sadness over Super Eagles match against Tunisia which ended 1-0 in favour of the North Africans and saw the exit of the Nigerians from the 2022 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), shortly after the final whistle was blown on Sunhday, some football enthusiasts expressed bitterness over the outcome of the game.
They said though the Super Eagles tried their best but it was not good enough to give the country victory over the Tunisians.
Mr Jacob Egoh, an operator of a football viewing centre in Barnawa, said: “Putting us against Tunisia at this stage was a bad pair.
“Cameroon is playing Comoros one of the third placed teams and another is playing against Malawi. Nigeria the best team from the first round should have played one of them not playing Tunisia one of best teams in Africa,” he said.
On his part, a viewer, and a football fan, Abubakar Abdullahi, lamented that Ahmed Musa, who he described as a ‘game changer’ was substituted very late thereby having very limited time to perform his “usual wonders“.
“Eguavoen (the coach) was supposed to at least have given chance to Sadiq and Musa in the first half of the game. It was a miscalculation, we would have had a good chance of beating Tunisia.
“This is not fair at all, questions should be directed to all those who officiate d the game. There was clean penalty in the box of Tunisia but they failed to award it to us and in its place we got a red card.
“The referee was partial, in fact the officiating was bad, of course supposed the hand ball by Tunisia in the first half was by Nigeria, they would have awarded it,” he said.
Ibrahim Mu’azu, another football fan, observed that Super Eagles defence, midfield, and the attack were very good.
He, however, said the unexpected kick outside the 18 yard box from the Tunisian forward embarrassed Maduka Okoye.
“He did not hold or punch out the ball, its a pity but we are hopeful to lift the trophy in the future,” Mu’azu said.
Another football fan, Manchi Adams, associated the Super Eagles loss to technical failure on the part of their handlers.
“Sadiq and Chukwueze should have played right from the onset of the game while Moses and Musa should have been in the field immediately after the first half.
“It was a great tournament but unfortunately we got knocked out. Keep it up Nigeria, that is the beauty of football,” he said.
However, on his part, a local football player, Omonigho Benjamin, said the Super Eagles players tried in the AFCON but ran out of luck.
“The Eagles played better than Tunisia but no luck. In the history of CAF, it is always very hard to beat teams from North Africa whenever they scored first,” he noted.
NAN reports that Tunisia, which won the AFCON title in 2004, will now face Burkina Faso in the quarter-finals on Saturday in Garoua. (NAN)