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AFCON 2021: Football supporters, fans bemoan Super Eagles exit

By Victor Okoye

Supporters and fans of the Super Eagles have continued to bemoan Nigeria’s exit from the ongoing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that title favourites Nigeria crashed out of the AFCON on Sunday in Garoua after a 1-0 loss to Tunisia in the round of 16.

The North Africans now advance to the competition’s quarter-finals where they will take on the Stallions of Burkina Faso on the same Stade Roumde Adjia pitch in Garoua.

A cross section of football enthusiasts who spoke to NAN in Garoua said it was a very painful exit for the three-time champions, adding that Nigeria didn’t deserve to lose the way they did.

The President General, Nigeria Football Supporters Club (NFSC), Rafiu Ladipo, said he was disappointed with the performance of the boys, adding that the Super Eagles have always failed to deliver when it mattered most.

“I am not happy. We allowed that cheap goal, very cheap goal! What is it? I have always said when you place more premium on the Super Eagles players that is when they fail you and that is what happened. How can Tunisia beat us? With this team? It is painful,” he said.

Nigerian fans in Cameroon for AFCON 2021
Nigerian fans in Cameroon for AFCON 2021

Ahmed Hennesy, an NFSC member from Lagos, blamed the goalkeeper for the loss, adding that he conceded a cheap goal and let his teammates down.

“Well, what I will say is that, since the departure of Vincent Enyeama, we’ve not had another good goalkeeper.

“That was a very cheap goal. He (Yousef Msakni) shouldn’t have scored from that much distance with a better goalie in between the sticks for Nigeria.

“We lost concentration. Even while we were a man down, it didn’t show in the game, apart from the blunder made by the goalkeeper.

“I feel pained right now, but that’s football for you. We will try our luck next time,” he said.

Taiye Adeyemi, an NFSC member from Oyo state, said even though he expected a positive result, football was is  unpredictable and we all (Nigerians) must accept the result in good fate.

“As a Nigerian, I am very sad because I didn’t expect the result to go the way it did, especially against a depleted Tunisian side.

“I was hoping that we were going to beat them silly, but unfortunately it was a silly goal that gave them (Tunisia) the victory.

“However, it’s one of those things, that is a part of football and we just have to accept it like that,” he said.

Ngozi Okoroafo, a NFSC member from Lagos, said: “I am sad because of what happened. The boys played very well, but I guess luck wasn’t just on their side.”

Enjoyemmy Okegdo, a fan from Lagos, said the players failed to convert a lot of goal scoring chances which turned out to be the team’s greatest undoing.

“Of course, I feel bad, I am not happy. Our plan was to soar higher after amassing a record nine point haul in the group stage.

“It is unfortunate that one of the best losers from the group stage was the team that knocked us out.

“I felt our boys should have taken their chances and scored earlier, but they missed a lot of those goal scoring chances in the first half.

“Secondly, this was a very crucial match and I think we really underrated this Tunisian side, but in everything we give glory to God,” he said.

Emmanuel Odikor, a fan from Lagos, said he expected more from the Super Eagles, especially after the team’s exploit at the group stage.

“It was a very bad experience and a bad day for us. We won all our group matches, but messed it up at the knockout stage.

“I don’t blame the players but the goalkeeper. It was the only Tunisian attempt at goal and he couldn’t save it.

“The players really tried their best and we don’t have to give up. The World Cup is coming and we can do better.
“So, my advice is for them to go back to the drawing board and bounce back stronger,” he said.

Usman Zubairu, a Super Eagles’ fan from Cameroon, said he was routing for Nigeria during the game but felt so sorry for the team when they lost.

He, however, said his love for the Super Eagles is still very strong, adding that they would bounce back from the setback a much better side in their upcoming games,” he said. (NAN) (