Golden Eaglets coach Emmanuel Amuneke says he is disappointed with his team’s loss to South Africa, but the loss will help the team become better.
Eric Mayo’s 27th minute goal was all that separated the two sides in a tie that Amunike says could have gone either way.
“We made mistakes and we were punished but I felt we deserved something from the game,” he told supersport.com
“Congratulations to South Africa, they played ad good game and wee tactically sound. They defended quite well when they scored.
“We shouldn’t have conceded that goal, we were unlucky but sometimes you need to ride your luck. Kudos to South Africa,” he added.
Amunike, who was philosophical in defeat, also told supersport.com that the loss will be a sort of motivation for the boys as they prepare for the World Cup in Chile.
“We lost to Ivory Coast in the final two years ago but went on to win the World Cup in the UAE.
“This loss will serve as a motivation for the boys. Our objective coming here (Niamey) was to qualify for the World Cup which we did.
“We obviously wanted to contest the final, but unfortunately it was not to be. We have learnt a lot from out experience here. There is a lot of work to be done.”
Nigeria will contest the third place match on Saturday with whoever loses between Guinea and Mali who will play the second semifinal on Thursday at the Stade Seyni Kountche.