Football Enthusiasts in Enugu have attributed Nigeria’s Super Eagles ouster from the ongoing World Cup tournament in Russia to the referee woeful calls after the interval.
Two goals from Lionel Messi and Marcus Rojo gifted Argentina 2-1 victory over Nigeria and qualified them second round of the ongoing competition.
Some of the enthusiasts who spoke in Enugu on Wednesday said that the referee robbed Nigeria from winning the match.
Chairman Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Enugu Chapter, Norbert Okolie, said that the Eagles gave their best but was let down with referee last minute calls.
“Eagles played well after the interval but failed to seal the game with their lackluster striking.
“But that was not the bone of the contention but the second penalty that the referee denied us.
“Although, nobody expected him to award the first penalty but it is obvious that the ball touch the defenders hand but only the referee knows why he waved it off.
“Had it been that the penalty was awarded to the Eagles, the story would have been different to what it is at the moment,’’ he said.
Another enthusiast, Chimobi Chukwu said that the players played well and would have won the match or at worst gotten a draw in the match.
“I am not happy that Nigeria lost the match the way they did because the referee should have allowed the game to flow.
“No doubt, we are not in the game in the first 45th minute but we did well after the interval only for the referee to deny us victory,’’ he said.
He also said that Nigerian strikers were selfish in the match and would had worked for each other and blamed Idion Ighalo for missing Eagles golden opportunity for the second goal.
Ikechukwu Agbo, a businessman, said that the Eagles played with determination and zeal to win the match.
He however noted that the referee did well in the first half but worked against Nigeria in the second half with some dubious officiating.
“Though, we lost to Argentina but we played well only that luck was not on our side and the referee was something else from the 80th minute of the match.
“There was a penalty that Argentina defender committed in the second half but he ignored it,’’ Agbo said.
Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria have been kicked out of the ongoing world soccer fiesta in Russia following their abysmal performance.