By Adeboye Amosu:
U-23 Eagles coach, Samson Siasia, says his side were lucky to escape with a win against Mali in Sunday's Group B fixture, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
The Eagles seemed to be coasting home to a comprehensive win after scoring three goals in the first stanza of the hugely entertaining encounter at the Stade Caroline Faye, but to their credit the Malians came back strongly in the second half to score twice.
The Malians were unlucky not to find the equaliser as they came close on a number of occasions particularly in the closing stages of the game.
And Siasia has admitted that his charges failed to live up to expectations in the second half of the game.
"It was a difficult match. We played very well in the beginning and scored three goals," he told reporters after the game.
"The defenders made two mistakes which cost us, and they (Mali) scored twice.
"The defenders panicked and they almost equalised. I guess we were lucky."
The Eagles will next take on Egypt in their second Group B fixture on Wednesday.