While the Palancas Negras left everything on the pitch, Coach Pedro Goncalves shed light on three key factors that ultimately tilted the scales in favour of the Super Eagles, Footballrover reports.
Fatigue from City-Hopping:
Unlike Nigeria, which enjoyed the comfort of a single training camp in Abidjan, Coach Pedro claims the path to the quarterfinals saw his side crisscross three different cities.
This constant travel, Goncalves believes, had a significant impact on his players’ physical fitness.
“The Nigerian players were fresher than ours, and their physical display made them able to create more chances than us,” he remarked.
Experience Gap Shines Through:
While acknowledging the talent within his squad, Goncalves admitted that the majority of his players ply their trade in the Angolan league, which lacks the exposure of major European leagues where many Nigerian stars compete.
This difference in experience, especially in high-pressure AFCON matches, might have proven challenging for his team.
Super Eagles’ Stellar Showing:
Goncalves didn’t shy away from praising Nigeria’s overall performance, commending their strength and ability to capitalise on opportunities.
He acknowledged that facing a team of Nigeria’s calibre would always be a tough battle, especially considering the fatigue his own players were battling.
With Nigeria booking their place in the semi-finals, coach Goncalves and his Angolan squad can hold their heads high after a spirited run in the AFCON.
As they return home, the lessons learned and experiences gained will undoubtedly pave the way for future growth and success.