Egypt national team head coach Carlos Queiroz has lamented the Pharaohs’ below-par performance in their 1-0 defeat to Nigeria at the king Stadium, Garoua, on Tuesday.
Kelechi Iheanacho’s brilliant first-half strike – a well-taken half volley to the top corner – earned a well-deserved win and all three points on offer for the Super Eagles in their opening Group D clash.
The scoreline suggests a narrow victory, but Nigeria were dominant for the most part, particularly in the first half, with the West Africans spurning several goalscoring opportunities to make it a comfortable evening for their fans worldwide.
While the Super Eagles can celebrate a fantastic display full of energy and quality, Egypt were far from their best.
Talismanic forward Mohamed Salah was tamed in the first half, and despite raising his game after the break, he met his match in the Nigerian defenders marshalled by Watford ace William Troost-Ekong.
Coach Queiroz cut a forlorn figure on the sidelines during the match, and the former Real Madrid manager could not hide his disappointment after the encounter.
“The performance in the first half was very poor, and that’s the truth, we weren’t on the pitch,” Queiroz told beIN Sport TV, as per Kingfut.
“We only started playing in the second half. There’s no clear reason behind this failure and defeat against Nigeria.
“We lost this match but there are still six points up for grabs against Sudan and Guinea-Bissau in order to qualify from the group.”
With that historic win, Nigeria went straight to the top of Group D ahead of this evening’s faceoff between Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.
The Super Eagles are now well-placed to finish as the group winners, with more favourable matches against the other group rivals still to come.