Posted by News Express | 26 March 2016 | 2,632 times
Nigeria coach Samson Siasia has said his team have no choice but to win in Egypt on Tuesday to stay in contention for a place at next year’s AFCON in Gabon.
Egypt will welcome the Super Eagles to Alexandria on Tuesday after a 1-1 draw in Kaduna ensured they stay on top of their qualifying group, two points ahead of closest rivals.
“We will turn the table in Alexandria, of course we can,” said a defiant Siasia after the home draw.
“We have been in this situation before, so why can’t we (win in Alexandria)?
“We have to move forward after today’s game. Moving forward is that we have to get ourselves together and try to go to Egypt and win. This is a game of football when anything can happen. So we will go out there and try and win in Egypt.
“If we don’t win, that means we are out. We will try our best to go and win there. Everything is possible.”
Siasia blamed the Super Eagles’ failure to beat the visiting Pharaohs on Friday on a lapse in concentration by his defenders very late in the encounter.
Ahmed Salah grabbed a late injury-time equaliser to cancel out Oghenekaro Etebo’s goal on 60 minutes to secure an unlikely draw for the Pharaohs in Kaduna.
Siasia said his players switched off and left their opponents unmarked after goalkeeper Carl Ikeme had booted the ball into touch in the spirit of fair play with defender Godfrey Oboabona down injured.
He also said Ikeme should have kicked the ball far away from his goal than to an area the Egyptians could likely launch an attack.
“We lost concentration in the last three minutes of added time,” Siasia said.
“Oboabona was down injured and our goalkeeper (Carl Ikeme) kicked the ball out, but close to our own area.
“Maybe he should have kicked the ball further out.
“The Egyptians didn’t apply fair play rules (of returning the ball back to Nigeria) and instead attacked and scored.
“We should blame ourselves and not the Egyptians because fair play doesn’t mean you should stop marking.”
Siasia however said the fight for the automatic qualifying place was not over, but they have to win in Egypt to stand a chance of leading their group.
“We can go to Egypt and win. We'll do our best,” he said.
“If we don’t then we’re out. Anything is possible.”
Egypt remain top of Group G of the AFCON qualifiers and host the Eagles on March 29.
•Pieced together from reports by MTNFootball and Supersport. Photo shows Siasia.
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