Nigeria U19 volleyball team head coach Sani Mohammed has blamed a lack of concentration for his team’s heavy loss to Russia in the ongoing 2019 FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship in Tunisia.
Russia pummeled Nigeria 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-17) in a one-sided affair on Thursday to leave Nigeria third in the group after three matches and with just a solitary win against Korea.
Mohammed said his team showed determination in the opening minutes but let their guard down as the game progressed and were ultimately undone by a lapse in concentration in the second and third sets.
“The boys’ determination was high from the beginning of the match, they lost concentration in the second set,” he said.
Mohammed also hinted that matters off the court could have played a part in his team’s sub-par performances and revealed that the team barely made it to the tournament and would have missed out altogether save for the intervention of the president of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF) Musa Nimrod.
He called on the newly sworn-in Minister of Sports Sunday Dare and corporate organisations to explore means of helping the sport grow in Nigeria and providing players with much-needed.
“We are calling on corporate bodies and the intervention of the new Sports Minister to assist [Nimrod] in rebranding volleyball in Nigeria. All we need now for these boys is exposure.
“All over the world when it comes to playing against teams from America, South America and Asia; if you are not well exposed to high and tactical play you will find it difficult, but the boys were able to hold both the Americans and the Russians to good scores by scoring 20 points in all the sets.”