Flying Eagles coach Ladan Bosso says ‘loss of concentration’ from his ‘defence line’ meant Nigeria conceded a late equalizer and drew 1-1 with West African rivals, the Baby Elephants of Cote D’Ivoire in their opening match at the WAFU B U20 qualifiers in Benin Republic on Sunday.
Defender Christopher Nwaeze put Nigeria ahead on the hour mark, before he was eventually sent off for a second bookable offence with 19 minutes left to play. The Ivorians capitalized on their numerical advantage to draw level late on in the Group B encounter at Port Novo as both teams shared the spoils.
The result notwithstanding, the former Abia Warriors and Kano Pillars coach said he would correct the mistakes he noticed from his side ahead of their next match.
“There was loss of concentration on their part, and we got that goal,” Bosso said in a post-match press conference. “And after the goal, we conceded a red card. Even after the red card, we still played very well. The red card did not show.
“But at the dying moments of the match, there was loss of concentration from my defence line. So, it was loss of concentration that gave them the equalizer.
“However, we would look at those areas that we find that problem. These are not issues that we would start talking about in the public because it is internal. We will go back, arrange our team ahead of the next match.”
The Flying Eagles will confront arch rivals –the Black Satellites of Ghana – in their next match on Wednesday, and ahead of that potentially explosive fixture, Bosso has promised to go for broke, while expressing optimism in his team’s chances of qualifying for the U20 AFCON.
“Two of us (Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire) have one point from one match,” he noted. “I think we should go for Ghana. Against Ghana, we should go for an all-out win.
“If we win against Ghana, I think there will be no room for any compromise going into the last matches. And we believe we can do it. We would learn from this mistake (against Cote d’Ivoire) and work towards it. We can play better.”
The WAFU B U20 tournament in Benin Republic will serve as qualifiers for next year’s U20 Africa Cup of Nations in Mauritania, which will determine Africa’s flagbearers at the 2021 FIFA U20 World Cup in Indonesia.