Defending champions, Nigeria, has crashed out of the Cape Town International Challenge after they lost 1-0 to South Africa in a final group game on Tuesday night.
This is the third loss coach John Obuh has registered. He blamed their latest defeat on poor officiating by Lesotho referee, Osiase Koto.
“We do not have to win these games at all costs and the referees should be told so. The South African player was offside clearly and the goal should not have stood,” said a disappointed Obuh.
“South Africa pressed us but they did not need the assistance of the referee to win this game. “The referee should have done much better because that was the same thing that happened in the game between Ghana and South Africa.”
We were better
The South Africa coach, Solomon Luvhengo, said the game was matched equally by the two teams.
“The first half they put us under pressure but in the second half, we dominated,” Luvhengo said. “It was a tough game. It is important to win difficult games like this and we did”.
The South African coach dismissed Obuh’s accusation that they were helped by the referee to win the match. “It was a good winning goal. There was no cheating,” Luvhengo said.
The Flying Eagles stepped up their performance after losing their first two games to Ghana and Argentina. They played with a lot more confidence and unlike their previous games, they played like a team, stringing passes between themselves.
The African champions made a couple of attempts at scoring goals, but overall South Africa created most of the chances and should have won by a bigger margin but for poor finishing.
The Nigerian team needed to win this final group game to stand a chance of making it into the last four of the invitational tournament, but in the end they failed to do so.