Nigeria stand-in captain Austin Ejide said the African champions paid dearly for underrating Congo on Saturday in an AFCON qualifier.
Congo stunned star-studded Nigeria 3-2 in the southern Nigerian coastal town of Calabar.
“I will say we underrated Congo and we paid for it,” said the Israel-based shot stopper.
“We were not aggressive. Had we played the way we did in second half right from first half, it would have been a different story now.
“Congo were better prepared than us, they came at us, there was fire in their eyes. They played like they were playing at home. Our reaction was poor.
“We hope to reclaim our three points in South Africa.”
The outstanding Thievy Bifouma scored a brace and provided an assist for the visiting Red Devils.
He said he was delighted to help the Red Devils on the road, but at the same time cautioned that this was just the beginning of the qualifying campaign.
“We were very strong against a big team like Nigeria,” he said
“We are also very, very happy, but then this is just the start of the competition