Super Eagles’ Vice-Captain Ahmed Muse says patience was the key to the team’s victory against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt on Wednesday.
A goal each in each half from Samuel Chukwueze and William Troost-Ekong saw Nigeria eliminate South Africa from the tournament and advance to the semi-finals.
Musa told reporters in a post-match interview that the Super Eagles’ plan going into the game was to stay focused and patient against a resolute South African side.
“We knew that the game against South Africa would be tough and not an easy ride.
“So, we spoke and reminded ourselves of the need to be patient as we worked towards achieving our goal.
“As you can see, we had to wait until the last minute to score the decisive goal and that is the most important thing,” he said.
Musa noted that both Nigeria and South Africa had similar styles of play as they possessed more attacking prowess on the flanks.
“I think the same thing they (South Africa) have is what we too have on the wings. Both teams played the same style of football.
“But the difference was that we were more patient and persistent in our approach than our opponents.
“Chukwueze is one of the young and talented players in our squad. He had a great game today and scored a fantastic goal.
“I think with time he is going to be one of the best players we have in the Super Eagles team.
“Chidozie Awaziem, Wilfred Ndidi and Jamilu Colliins are also other young talents in the squad and players for the future.
“As you know, we the old players in the squad are gradually winding down and will not be here in a couple of years from now.
“So, we definitely need players like them to step up and take over from us,” he said.
The Super Eagles now await the winners between Cote d’Ivoire and Algeria in one of Thursday’s quarter-final matches.