Football experts at home and abroad have continued explain why Nigeria did not go beyond the group stage at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. On Thursday, former Super Eagles coach, Austin Eguavoen, said that the team’s lack of concentration in Brazil was their major undoing.
Eguavoen told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the team could have stayed longer at the tournament had they focussed better in all their matches.
The former Nigeria defender emphasised the need for the Stephen Keshi-led coaching crew to work more on the team’s strikers.
He said, “In my assessment of our performance from the opening match with Tahiti, we were brilliant. We could have scored more goals but we didn’t. We missed some players that could have made the difference at the tournament.
“In our match against Uruguay, even when we fought so hard, our major undoing was lack of concentration. But in all, I give it to them that they did well.”
Eguavoen, who was a member of the Eagles squad that won the 1994 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia, stressed that the team must step up their game against the big teams.
He noted that the team initially kept pace with world champions Spain in their last group match but eventually lost out because they could not convert their chances into goals.
“It could have been Spain 5 Nigeria 3, but that didn’t happen, because we did not take advantage of the chances; that’s the difference.
“In spite of the lack of bite in our attack, we still gave Spain a run for their money, even when we lost 3-0,” he added.
On the chances of the team qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Eguavoen was of the firm belief that the team would qualify for the soccer fiesta.
“I have no doubts in my mind; we can go to sleep. Nigeria has qualified for the World Cup.
“We just have to work hard with a lot of top friendlies against European, Asian, South American and African sides,” he added.
Nigeria need to earn at least a draw against Malawi in September to qualify for the final stage of the World Cup qualifiers. The match will be played in Calabar or Abuja.