Super Eagles of Nigeria at 2013 AFCON South Africa - Super Eagles’ skipper, Joseph Yobo, Wednesday, at the team’s training ground, admitted that the team ought to have latched on the use of an outfield player as goalkeeper by the Ethiopians, to score more goals in their Group C match here Tuesday.
Yobo told PANA 'Immediately after the regular goalkeeper, Sesay Basa, was expelled, an outfield player, Adis Hinsta Tekle, manned the goal post at the dot of 90 minutes since the team had already made use of the three substitutes allowed. And we should have taken advantage of that to score more goals.|'
Yobo said 'In spite of the additional seven minutes at the end of the game, the Super Eagles did not take a single shot at the Ethiopian irregular goalkeeper. Instead, they tossed the ball around in the midfield. Had they latched on the irregular situation by directing shots at goal, perhaps we would have scored more goals that would improve our goal difference to top the group.'
Yobo admitted the mistake, but explained that their minds were mainly focused on not conceding another late goal as the Ethiopians were still defiant, despite being two goals down.
He also recounted the agonising 85 minutes he spent on the Nigerian bench as he watched his teammates struggling to break the Ethiopian defence.
“I now know what Nigerians go through and for 85 minutes it was like what have we done wrong again that the goals were not coming.'
The former Marseille of France and Everton of England strongman praised the character of the team against Ethiopia and noted that it was the stuff that champions are made of.
He called for more support from Nigerians as the Super Eagles reach the crucial knock-out stages of the competition, declaring that 'the calibre of players in the team have the capacity to not only win the trophy but remain relevant for a long time to come for the national team.
“We have young, dynamic and dedicated players who are learning fast from those of us who are their seniors and they can go very far in the tournament here and in subsequent tourneys to come,' said Yobo.
Nigeria defeated Ethiopia 2-0 to qualify for the quarter finals of the tournament.