Head Coach of the U-23 National Team, Samson Siasia has attributed the defeat of his team by Burkina Faso in the semi finals of the 11th All-Africa Games football tournament in Brazzaville to his boys’ profligacy in front of goal, and the defenders failing in their duties.
Speaking after the game, a disappointed Siasia disclosed that in his wildest imagination, he did not for once believed his team would lose to Burkina Faso, let alone by such a high margin.
Siasia said: “I never imagined losing to Burkina Faso, but then my midfielders played so well, my defenders and attackers let me down, can you imagine my attackers not being able to convert about eight chances that came their way?
“To make matters worse, the defenders were asleep on a day they should have been up and doing. Who told the central defenders to keep offside trap the way they did? I am totally disappointed; we can’t play like this in Senegal and expect to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. No way!
“We were so bad that anytime the ball beat the defenders, even my goalkeeper could not stop any of the shots fired at him. Football is a team work where errors are bound to occur, but it’s the ability of fellow team mates to cover for one another that makes a team great, that I didn’t see today.”
On the way forward, Siasia stated that he is happy that the worst has happened at the All-Africa Games and he has learnt his mistakes.
“We will make corrections after the All-Africa Games. I plan to travel to talk to some players I have already penciled down, then hopefully, the team should be assembling in first week of October to prepare for the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations. Certainly, some of the players I brought to Congo Brazzaville will have to give way.”
Siasia then apologized to Nigerians for letting them down by not qualifying for the All-Africa Games men’s football final and bringing home the gold medal. “I am not a man of excuses. I take all the blame for this collapse and will certainly make amends before the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations.”
Unfortunately, Nigeria’s senior women’s team, Super Falcons, also in the semi final of the women’s football event, crashing 1-2 to Cameroon also on Tuesday.