Former Nigeria international Friday Ekpo has blamed the Super Eagles CHAN 2016 exit on their insufficient preparations for the Guinea duel, which was clearly evident during the encounter, he revealed.
Guinea advanced to the quarter finals, edging Nigeria 1-0 thanks to Ibrahima Sory Sankhon’s well tapped-in goal in the 44th minute off Alseny Camara’s teasing ball inside the area.
When quizzed about the national team’s performance, Ekpo felt they neither possessed the spirit nor any individual brilliance, culminating in the dreaded loss.
“I saw the Guineans in their first two games and I was beginning to be afraid of them,” ex-Super Eagles midfielder Ekpo told Completesportsnigeria.
“I felt that if we didn’t prepare well before meeting them, we would have it tough. From what I saw of our team, they didn’t show enough to progress.
“I expected the team to approach the game differently when we were one goal down, not long balls. The Guineans played like a team. They played like a team that was almost out but wanted to still be in the competition, and they achieved it.
“Even when things were not going well, you expect something special from an individual, but nothing was forthcoming.
“This is a lesson for us to learn especially as we prepare for the AFCON qualifiers which are not far off.”