By Johnny Edward:
Former Super Eagles midfielder Yusuf Ayila has labelled the team's performance against South Africa in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo on Saturday as the worst he has ever seen the Nigerian team play in recent years, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The three-time African champions lost 2-0 to South Africa for the first time in competitive game last Saturday in Uyo.
The Eagles were without five of their influential players due to several reasons and the former Dynamo Kiev combative midfielder blamed the woeful performance on the absence of the experienced players in the squad.
"I've played for the Eagles and I know what it takes to play your heart out for the team," former Dynamo Kiev star Ayila told Completesportnigeria.com.
"To be very honest with you, the Eagles game against South Africa was the worst I've ever seen them play.
"You need more than talent to play in the Eagles. Bravery, courage and guts are some of the qualities also needed.
"Our players showed none of that against South Africa.
"It was obvious that we lacked experience against the Bafana Bafana side who had more established players than we paraded on the day.
"There was no leader to direct these young players who still need to be taught certain details in football."
Ayila who in the past had featured for the Super Eagles in two AFCON tournaments and a FIFA World Cup hopes the learn from the shameful defeat.
He also hopes the Eagles can still qualify for the 2019 AFCON having missed the last two editions.
"We can still qualify because most times we succeed in the most difficult circumstances. But I hope it all goes well," he added.