By Adeboye Amosu:
Home-based Super Eagles coach, Salisu Yusuf, says the team may have passed their most difficult test of the competition so far following Sunday’s 2-1 quater-final victory against Angola at the 2018 African Nations Championship, Completesportsnigeria.com (CSN) reports.
Yusuf’s charges were stretched for long periods in the encounter by the Palancas Negras who took a shock lead early in the second half and had goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa to thank for keeping the team in the game with a number of vital saves.
The Home Eagles rallied back late in the game to score the equaliser through Anthony Okpotu in added time before getting the winning goal courtesy of a fine strike by Gabriel Okechukwu in the second period of extra time.
The gaffer reckoned that he never lost faith in his players and had the belief that they will bounce back in the game.
“Today’s (Sunday) game was the most difficult for us in the tournament as we fought for 90 minutes against a good team,” Yusuf stated in his interaction with the media after the game.
“We never lost faith in our players because we were creating chances and the more you do that the chances of scoring are higher.”
Yusuf also backed under fire striker, Anthony Okpotu who missed a number of goal scoring opportunities in the game to come good in the competition despite widespread criticism about his performance.
“I’m so confident about Anthony Okpotu and we believe in him and he has been scoring despite missing some chances, but he will be much better in the coming matches,” the former Kano Pillars coach stated.
“We never understimated Angola. They play good football and are a good team, but the important thing was to win and we won.”