Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro has appealed for more time to build a formidable team despite Nigeria’s 2-1 victory against Sierra Leone in their opening fixture of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. The three-time African champions had to stage a first-half comeback after they fell a goal behind within 11 minutes of play. Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen scoring as Nigeria recorded their first victory under Peseiro.
However, considering the gulf in quality between both sides, one would have expected the Leone Star to get a proper mauling. But it was not the case as the Sierra Leoneans went about their duties unafraid. Nigeria could have scored more than two, but the continuous issue of profligacy in front of goal reared its ugly head again as Nigeria missed several opportunities. Speaking after the game, Peseiro shared his elation with the victory, but he agreed that the West-African giants were not at their best. “We are better than Sierra Leone in this game, we deserve to win,” Peseiro told reporters after the game as quoted by Pulse.
“We changed the setup in the second half, I think it was only the last 10 minutes our opponent had some good moments. “We created a lot of scoring chances, we could have won with a bigger margin, but the team needs more time and we must work.” Peseiro also defended his decision to start two natural midfielders in Iwobi and Joe Aribo, insisting he picks his starting XI according to the game plan. “I can play any player, I make the final decision. If I ask you, to give me your XI, it will be different from others,” Peseiro continued. “I believe in my players, it’s my responsibility to select the players according to our plans.” “We created a lot of scoring chances, we could have won with a bigger margin, but the team needs more time and we must work.”