“I am very, very sad and angry. I don’t think anything will make meaning to me tonight again.”
On Sunday, football fans in Osogbo expressed sadness as Super Eagles crashed out of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon after losing 1-0 to Tunisia in the round of 16.
The football enthusiasts said the loss to Tunisia left a sore taste in the mouth because the Super Eagles lost to a team that survived on three points to get to the round of 16.
Babatunde Adewole said he was heartbroken by the defeat because he was optimistic that Nigeria would get to the tournament’s finals and probably win the cup, going by their brilliant performance in the group stage.
“A lot of Nigerians believed the way the Super Eagles started brilliantly at the tournament. No team could stop them,” he explained. “It is, however, disheartening that Tunisia that lost two out of their group matches, even missing eight players and their coach for tonight’s match, due to COVID-19, would knock us out of the tournament.”
He added, “I am very, very sad and angry. I don’t think anything will make meaning to me tonight again.”
Muideen Adeleke, a sports journalist, attributed Nigeria’s loss to tactical and technical deficiency, saying the coach failed to do the needful to win the game.
“It is a hard defeat to take. The Super Eagles were tactically and technically deficient. Why did the coach introduce attacking football late? Umar Sadiq should have probably started early,” the sports journalist reasoned. In all, the technical team and the coaches got the game wrong, and we suffered for it.”
Adetunji Akanbi, another sports journalist, noted that the Tunisian players were not more skilful than the Super Eagles, but Nigeria was unlucky to capitalise on the misfortune of the Tunisian team.
“The Tunisians were missing 12 first-team players, including their captain and coach, who were all isolating due to testing positive to COVID-19,” he stated. “Nigeria’s performance was poor from the onset, and we lost that swagger and fear factor to the Tunisians. However, we were also unlucky because the same offence committed by a Spurs player, Matt Doherty, on Malang Sarr of Chelsea today, which didn’t even earn him a yellow card, earned Iwobi a red.”