“Painful”, “unlucky” – Nigerian fans in Moscow rue Eagles’ exit


It was a mixed grill as Nigerians attending the World Cup in Russia reacted to the  elimination of the Super Eagles from the ongoing World Cup.

The Super Eagles on Tuesday lost a crucial Group D match 1-2 to Argentina at St. Petersburg Stadium,  resulting in their exit.

Idowu Onatuga said it was the worst thing that could happen to the Super Eagles inspite of the high expectations from Nigerians.

‘‘The 1-2 defeat of the Eagles by Argentina was a painful one and a disappointment to most Nigerians who wanted their team to advance to the next stage,’’ he said.

He, however, said that the players  tried their best even though it was not good enough to see Nigeria progress in the competition.

Abdulami Babarabi, the Football Association(FA)  Secretary in Nasarawa,  who made the trip to Russia,  said Nigeria’s exit from the game “was all about football where you win some, lose some.’’

‘‘The match against Argentina that made us to exit from the World Cup has come and gone, but the lessons are there to learn from.

“ Why is it always Argentina that we always lose  to at crucial moments?  We must find a solution to this in future,’’ he added.

Friday Onatoja, a former FA Secretary in Delta, however, said he was indifferent about the outcome of the match, insisting  ‘‘there were issues and lack of enough mobilisation for the Eagles.’’

Ade Ojekere, group sports editor of  The Nation, who  covered the match, observed that notwithstanding the ouster, the football authorities should keep the team for the future.

“Nigeria should keep the players, organise quality friendlies for them ahead of the next Nations Cup for them to be stronger in the future,’’ he said.

He warned that it would be counter -productive for the country to disband the team, saying the players were  young and disciplined.

The technical adviser of the team, Gernor Rohr, had  said at after the game that he would be staying back to work with the players.