Friday Sep 15, 2017. 14:00
Nigeria coach Salisu Yusuf has praised Sierra Leone after their clash at the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations in Ghana.
The home-based Super Eagles brush aside Sierra Leone 2-0 in a Last 16 match at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Monday, September 11.
However, Nigeria were frustrated by Mali in the opening Group A match of the West African tournament at the same venue and the match ended in a 0-0 draw on Thursday, September 14.
"Sierra Leone are a good team. The quality of their players is good," Salisu said.
"In football, you can play well without scoring goals - no matter how many chances you create and sometimes the match ends up in a draw. So, it's normal in football. It happens.
Prolific marksman Anthony Okpotu and attacking midfielder Samuel Mathias, who both started against Sierra Leone, were left out of the starting line-up against Mali by Yusuf.
"It was not a strategy. Okpotu started in our first game against Sierra Leone. I just decided to use him from bench against Mali," the tactician explained.
"As for Mathias, we have other good players in his position. It's a quality team and everyone can play."
The Super Eagles will now take on Guinea in their second Group A match at the Cape Coast Stadium on Saturday. Kick-off is at 15h00 GMT (Ghana).