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‘Inexperience, incompetence cost Nigeria dearly’


Nigeria’s Ogenyi Onazi controls the ball during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying football match between Nigeria and South Africa at Goodswill Akpabio International Stadium in the southern city of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on June 10, 2017. PHOTO: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

Super Eagles stand-in captain, Ogenyi Onazi was a sad figure when he faced the press in the post-match briefing.

Onazi who was about the most experienced player in the team that lost to South Africa in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo last night could not stomach his disappointment with the way the younger players prosecuted the match which has given South Africa the bragging right over Nigeria.

Although he praised the efforts of the players, Onazi insisted, lack of experienced players in the team gave the Bafana Bafana the undue advantage of recording a historic victory over Nigeria in Uyo.


“Yes, the young boys played well, particularly in the first half but due to lack of experience, they could not gather their nerves when it mattered most. It is sad we lost even when we have the quality.”

To former international goalkeeper, Emmanuel Babayaro, Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi should be blamed for the 0-2 loss to South Africa.

In the absence of first choice goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme, Babayaro should do everything possible to lure back former first choice goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama.

“The first goal was from a cross, it’s part of his job to call out his defenders by shouting man to man, so they won’t lose their man, but he instead thought the cross was going to come through for him to pick, it didn’t happen and his defence wasn’t organised by him to deal with the goal scorer (Tokelo Rantie), that was poor,” Babayaro told

“You have to look at how hilarious the second goal is. First of all the goalkeeper is the last line of defence ‎, he sees what others can’t see. I wonder why he didn’t ask a defender to stay in his own half.

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