NFF President Aminu Maigari, while addressing the players in the dressing-room minutes after the stunning loss to the Hawks, said the team put in everything to achieve victory on the day but had the tide against it.
“Let us take this as an act of God and brighten up”, Maigari intoned as he addressed the squad, standing beside Head Coach Samson Siasia. “Football is like that; you win some and you lose some. Truth is no one likes to lose in a final match, more so when it is on home ground. But truth also is that when two teams go up against each other in a final match, only one will emerge the winner.
“We lost today and it’s all part of the game, but I commend your spirit and enthusiasm, and your determination to win. More than these, you showed courage and comportment.
“No team wins always. I can assure you that the Nigeria Football Federation, the coaching crew and indeed, you players must have learnt a lot from this tournament. These lessons will help us all as we go forward,” insisted Maigari.
Nigeria fell 2-3 in front of home fans at the MKO Abiola Stadium, with Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel among the fans. A second-minute goal truly unsettled Super Eagles’ nerves, while red card to impressive centre-back Gege Soriola and a colourless display by stand-in-skipper and goalkeeper Rotimi Sunday did not make help matters.
The NFF President urged the players to pick up their morale and fight for shirts in the main squad ahead of the high-profile international friendly against Argentina in Abuja on 1st June and the crucial 2012 Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on 4th June.
Responding, Head Coach Siasia assured that the defeat would not impact on the focus of the team “as we cannot afford this because we have bigger fishes to fry very soon.”