Super Eagles goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi has said the side got their tactics wrong against their South African opponents, Bafana Bafana.
The Eagles were benched 2-0 by visitors, Bafana Bafana in Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.
Akpeyi said the three-time African champions were on the right peddle in the first half of the clash but got things muddled up in their quest for the lead and later for the equaliser.
“We got it wrong tactically, we were doing well in the first half and in the second half we were anxious for goal, that’s where we lost it.
“As a result of which we conceded a goal and eager for the equaliser we opened our defence and the South Africans cut us off guard coupled with one or two mistakes to score the second goal.
“It was one of the bad days in football having to start our Afcon ticket chase on a losing note.
“Well, there is a whole lot of lesson we have learned from the loss which will guide us in subsequent matches.
“I believe we still have hope in the qualifying race with the other matches on the Afcon calendar.
“I know for certain that we will get back on track to position ourselves towards claiming the sole ticket in the group,” said the Chippa United shot-stopper to supersport.com.
Akpeyi, however, asked Nigerians to avoid hasty and roundly condemnation of the players for the Afcon loss to South Africa.
“None of us is happy with the sad turn of event, we never went into the game with a mind to lose to South Africa.
“Nigerians are too quick to condemn and pass judgment, a little error everybody is quick to throw a stone.
“We have won several matches in the past whether by luck or not and the encomium is understandably endless.
“If we continued to be sentimental in our discourse especially when things went wrong things will not work well.
“We need to encourage, standby and support the team at all times, we just lost a game, not war, as we are determined to pick the Afcon qualification ticket to Cameroon,” said the former Heartland and Warri Wolves goaltender.
Nigeria is third in the group E log with zero points, while Libya and South Africa are on three points and the Seychelles remain bottom. Only the group winners are guaranteed an automatic berth at the 2019 Afcon in Cameroon.