Peseiro responds to question on pairing Onuachu, Osimhen in attack and snubbing MoffiPublished: March 25, 2023
Nigeria manager Jose Peseiro faced the cameras shortly after his side's shock 1-0 loss to Guinea-Bissau on matchday three in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The three-time African champions were expected to stroll past their opponents, ranked 118th in the world, but that opinion changed by the end of the first half with the Super Eagles trailing 1-0 to the visitors.
And it could have been worse for the Super Eagles had Eucidalcio Gomes not hit the side netting nine minutes before halftime.
In search of an equalizer, Peseiro introduced Paul Onuachu to replace Kelechi Iheanacho at halftime, a decision that did not go down well with some fans and journalists, who felt that Terem Moffi would have done a better job than the out of form Southampton striker.
In the training sessions in the build-up to the game, the Portuguese experimented with a two-man attack of Victor Osimhen and Terem Moffi, and also paired Onuachu with the Napoli star.
Peseiro has confirmed that the role of a deep-lying forward was handed to Kelechi Iheanacho in a 4-4-2 formation.
Defending his decision, the Super Eagles manager said : "We started with Kelechi, not Onuachu. If you saw the training, I changed many players, I decided to start with this team.
"In the first 20 minutes we created three clear opportunities, if we had scored, we'll beat them 3-0 or 4-0."
Peseiro insisted that the Super Eagles have what it takes to beat the top footballing countries in Africa such as Ghana and Cameroon.
"One match, any team can lose because you can create many opportunities, like us, without scoring. I believe if we play like we played today, we can beat any team. Guinea-Bissau were lucky."
With Peseiro in the Super Eagles dugout, the national team lost to Mexico, Ecuador, Algeria and Portugal, before suffering a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Guinea-Bissau.
"Before we played against big teams to improve the team. Today, we deserved more. Some people here. if you watched the match and want to speak the truth, our team deserved much more.
"Our team created opportunities, our team in the second half kept Guinea-Bissau at the back. They scored one goal, we could score five, six goals, it didn't happen, it happens in football.
"One team can shoot one or two times and win, other team like us can shoot many times without scoring..
"Of course I am sad but I will be worse if my team didn't play well, " Peseiro stressed
Moffi, who scored three goals in his last three matches for the Super Eagles, was a non-playing substitute against Guinea-Bissau.
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