By James Agberebi: Former Nigeria international, Mutiu Adepoju, has expressed his disappointment following the home-based Super Eagles’ 4-0 thrashing against hosts Morocco in the final of the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) on Sunday in Casablanca, Completesportsnigeria.com (CSN) reports.
Morocco claimed their first senior title since winning the Africa Cup of Nations way back in 1976 with the comprehensive win against Nigeria.
A brace from Zakaria Hadraf, Walid El Karti and Ayoub El Kaabi, gave the Moroccans the deserved the win.
They became the first country to host and win the CHAN tournament since it began in 2009.
Reflecting on the Eagles’ heavy defeat, Adepoju stated he had expected tight contest.
“I didn’t expect that the Eagles will lose with such margin. I expected the game to be competitive than what we saw. I think the result was not good,” Adepoju told Completesportsnigeria.com.
Adepoju dismissed talks about stage fright for the Eagles’ players, positing that the team had been squeezing out results.
He said: “I don’t think the loss had anything to do with stage fright. Most of the players play in front of large crowds in the NPFL. Rather I will say in most of our matches before the final, yes we’ve been winning, but it had been difficult wins. I knew the game against Morocco will be different because they have a solid team. But like I said, even if we are going to lose, I didn’t expect us to lose this much.”
The 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner, however picked the duo of Ikouwem Udoh and Okechukwu Gabriel as the home-based Eagles players that impressed him at the tournament.
He added:”I was impressed with the left-full back , Ikouwem Udoh. He did very well but he still has much to do, he needs to gain more experience. He attacks and also defends well and his movement was good.”
“Okechukwu Gabriel did well in the previous two games he played, but unfortunately, I didn’t see those runs behind the defenders against the Moroccans. But he has a lot to learn and improve his game.”