Nigeria assistant coach Salisu Yusuf has praised his team’s spirit in their goalless draw against Rwanda in their Group C Morocco 2018 African Nations Championship opening game at Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier on Monday.
The former Enyimba manager, who is in charge of the CHAN assignment, believes confidence is high ahead of the Super Eagles’ second match against South Africa 2014 champions Libya on Thursday. The North Africans pounded Equatorial Guinea 3-0 in their first game on Monday.
The Eagles missed great chances to pick up all points against Rwanda, with youngster Sunday Faleye, Rabiu Ali and substitute Ibrahim Mustapha hitting the upright.
Salisu, who rued missed chances in the encounter, blamed bad luck for his team’s inability to put Amavubi to the sword.
“We had opportunities, but we were unlucky,” the former Kano Pillars manager told cafonline after the game.
“Rwanda deployed a defensive strategy and it worked for them. The players had a good game and we regret nothing. We were unlucky and that’s it. I remain positive because luck was not on our side. “The next match will be against Libya who beat Equatorial Guinea. It will be an open match.”
Nigeria striker Anthony Okpotu expressed his regret at the Eagles’ poor finishing against the landlocked East African country.
The Lobi Stars player told Scorenigeria, “We will continue to work hard, in fact we will work harder in training. Hopefully we’ll get it right against Libya in our second game.”
Meanwhile, the Eagles face an uphill task to stop Al Ahli Tripoli striker Saleh Taher from getting on the scoresheet when they engage Libya on Thursday.
Taher scored a brace to fire the Libyans to victory over Equatorial Guinea. Libya coach Omar El Maryami will also bank on Zakaria Alharash, who scored the third goal, as they aim to retain their leadership of the group.
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