Wednesday Jul 07, 2021. 15:00
Nigerian football figures Godwin Izilien and Babatunde Joseph has expressed their dismay and embarrassment at the Super Eagles’ 4-0 loss to Mexico in an international friendly this past weekend.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) sent a locally-based ‘B Team’ for the match in Los Angeles, in hopes of exposing their up-and-coming players to the cut and thrust of international football.
However, according to former Super Falcons and Golden Eaglets coach Godwin Izilien, the execution of this plan did the team no favours.
“The players were hurriedly assembled within one week to face Mexico and we ended up ridiculing ourselves before the international community,” Izilien is quoted by The Guardian.
“I have always advised the NFF severally on the need to look inward by sending some of the coaches to the local government to scout for players. It worked for us in the old Bendel.
You don’t just wake up and assemble local players to face a great football-playing nation like Mexico. It was a waste of money. I am sure we have learnt some bitter lessons from this mistake.”
Babatunde Joseph, a winner of the U-16 World Cup back in 1985, says he was embarrassed by the result.
“I don’t know if those guys really prepared for that duel because that was what it looked like watching the game on television,” he explained.
“They behaved as if they were just happy and pleased with being in the U.S. If not, they would have provided a strong opposition to the Mexicans. I cannot explain what happened to those guys in that match.
“My phone has just been popping up with calls and text messages from friends asking me what happened that Nigeria lost scandalously like that to Mexico.
“None of my friends in the U.S. believe that the team was not the real Super Eagles. No, they won’t believe that stuff once it is your country that played the game.
“And this is already recorded in the history books that Mexico beat Nigeria 4-0 in an international friendly in the U.S.”