Former Nigeria international, Austin Jay Jay Okocha says Tunisia out-smarted Nigeria and that there was no leadership in the 10-man Super Eagles team in Sunday’s shock last 16 loss to The Carthage Eagles.
Nigeria’s 100 percent fairy tale run from the group stage ended in heartbreak when a very pragmatic Tunisia beat them 1-0 in Garoua to reach the quarterfinals to make up for a painful group stage run that was later compounded by a litany of pre-match positive COVID-19 cases.
“We had a bad day and when it rains, it pours,” Okocha told SuperSport.
Okocha said the team just lacked the urgency on the night of a team hungry to bring home the AFCON crown.
“But the major problem we had, if I may criticize the team, was a lack of leadership,” the Super Eagles legend said.
“At no point did I have the impression that there was one or two players that wanted to take the responsibility to talk to the other players, fire them up and get them going.
“They were all playing at the same pace and leaving each other to sort things for themselves.”
Okocha also slammed the Super Eagles’ group stage engine room Moses Simon for being too one dimensional against Tunisia.
“I think it is also important for a team or players to know when they are needed, when other players need to be helped and today I didn’t see that from our team,” Okocha said.
“I always say you are as good as your next game; you can qualify with 100 percent run but if you don’t win in your next game it counts for nothing.
“We didn’t do enough to win this match and we were taught a life lesson.
“You need to take responsibility. As a player you need to realise that plan A is not working so what can I do to influence the game?