Fans and football lovers in Osun and Ilorin were heartbroken and angered after Algeria edged out Nigeria for a final place at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
A cross section of the fans in Osogbo after the match on Sunday, said Nigeria had a good run but it was heartbreaking loosing in the tournament the way Nigeria did to Algeria.
Femi Ogundele, a fan, said Nigeria would have been hopeful if the match extended to the extra times of the match, but Algeria scoring a free kick in the added time could be very painful.
“When a penalty was awarded in the 73rd minute, and we equalized, it gave us hope that Nigeria can still win the game, worse case, we will play extra time.
”But it is very devastating that it was just few seconds to the end of the added time that Nigeria conceded a goal from Algeria.
“I am so sad right now, thank God I have eaten dinner before the match, because I don’t know how I would be able to eat again after what just happened, so sad.” he said
Babatunde Ganiyu, a football analyst, in his own comment said Nigeria was just unlucky, couple with the fact that Algeria played better than the Super Eagles.
“Super Eagle played fantastic football but the Algerians dominated them towards the last minute and they were lucky to get the goal.
“In the first half, Nigeria defense was not tightly coordinated, though the midfield tried their best in term of marking but they failed to deliver good passes that could be converted to goal by the strikers.
” Our attacking force was not tight at all, you could imagine the Algerian goalkeeper in goal post without any pressure throughout the first half.
“It is so sad we didn’t make it to the final of the tournament, though we had a great run , I guess a consolation will be a third place.” he said
Ayoola Ajayi, in his own assessment of the game said Nigeria lacked good goalkeeper and that contributed to the loss.
“I was just telling my friend that I worry about Akpeyi and the last-minute conceding syndrome.
“I kept talking about Akpeyi, no one will listen to me; I have been following football for decades and I know Akpeyi cannot even be Nigeria’s 30th keeper.
“We went to Egypt with an unstable keeper; but the goal keeper should not only carry the blame, everybody in the team should share in the blame, the players, the coach, the technical, even NFF.
“Algeria dominated the game and their dominance and force led to their well deserved victory.
“How I wish Vincent Enyeama was in goal.., I know he would not concede such a heartbreaking goal,” he said.
Some football enthusiasts in Ilorin say the Super Eagles deserved no place in the final match of the 2019 AFCON due to what they considered as their lacklustre performance.
They expressed dissatisfaction at the Super Eagles’ 1-2 loss to the Desert Foxes of Algeria in the semi-final played on Sunday.
Fatai Alao said Nigeria was outclassed by a better team and was even unable to utilise the lifeline gotten through the penalty awarded to the team.
“If the result had been otherwise, it would have been a great injustice to the North African side.
“They didn’t play the match as if it was the knockout phase, they didn’t just get it right,’’ Alao said.
Another respondent, Mr Femi Philips, said it was not a shame to lose to a better side, arguing, however, that Nigeria could have done better.
Nigeria would take on 2004 champions Tunisia in the third place match at the Al Salam Stadium on Wednesday while Algeria would take on Senegal in Friday’s final at the Cairo International Stadium.