Super Eagles: ‘A good performance’ – Peseiro lauds Nigeria after Guinea loss

Following Nigeria's pre-AFCON 2023 friendly loss to Guinea, coach Jose Peseiro has taken responsibility for the result but lauded the performance of his team.

Yesterday afternoon, the Super Eagles fell 2-0 to the Syli Nationale in their only test match ahead of the showpiece in Ivory Coast and Peseiro said trying to fit new players and exploring new formations was central to the defeat.

Despite the result, the coach defended his team's display, calling it “a good performance”.

The three-time AFCON winners have now registered only one win in the last five competitive games.

“We tested our new system today, 3-4-3. The first half ended 1-0 against us but we deserved more. We had penalties on two or three occasions and the one we got we lost and missed two, three clear chances. We played very well and put the other team on the back foot, but we let in a goal through a mistake. But it’s better to do the mistakes now than later,” he said.

“It's not easy playing against a fast team with good counter attacking system, we lost the balance in the midfield and then changed to 4-3-3 after which they got three or four goal scoring chances from which they scored the second goal.

“But I am happy because I changed the team, I didn’t play all the players, I tried to manage the team in these two matches.”

The gaffer reserved praise for debutants Alhassan Yusuf and Stanley Nwabali.

But when he was asked about his likely starting XI for the Group A opener this weekend, he said: “I know in my head the starting XI against Equatorial Guinea (on Sunday), but I keep it to myself.”

Boniface out, Moffi, Iheanacho in

Jose Peseiro has called up Terem Moffi from French Ligue 1 side, OGC Nice pending approval from CAF and the release of the player by his French club, as a direct replacement for Bundesliga striker, Bayer Leverkusen's Victor Boniface who has been ruled out of the tournament due to a groin injury he suffered in training.

He also confirmed that Leicester City forward, Kelechi Iheanacho will now join the rest of his squad in Ivory Coast for the AFCON after recovering from a muscular injury.

The Super Eagles have left their Dubai training camp for Lagos today and will jet out to Abidjan, Ivory Coast on January 10.

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Rotimi Akindele

Rotimi Akindele is a Sports Journalist with almost two decades' experience. He is a TV and radio host, commentator and writer who has covered major sporting events across the globe. Akindele's sports content has been listened to and read by a global audience. He is a well-known figure within Nigeria and the African football scene.