AFCON 2021: Eguavoen admits he made a mistake with Ejuke in Nigeria’s loss to Tunisia
The CSKA Moscow winger played two games in the group stages but was nowhere to be found in the match against the Carthage Eagles
Super Eagles interim coach Austin Eguavoen has admitted that he was wrong to leave Chidera Ejuke out of the squad that lost to Tunisia in the second round of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
Nigeria crashed out of the 2021 AFCON following a 1-0 loss to the Carthage Eagles in the round of 16 on Sunday night.
The Super Eagles had been brilliant in the group stages, but they struggled to break down a well-organised Tunisian defence.
Nigeria’s attacking threat in the group stages came from the wings, but the lively Moses Simon was kept quiet while Samuel Chukwueze struggled throughout the minutes he played.
Although Eguavoen made a couple of changes from the bench, he could not bring on Ejuke, who was one of the creative players in the squad.
Ejuke made a cameo against Egypt in the opening match, while he started against Guinea-Bissau, but he was not on the bench against Tunisia.
Eguavoen has now admitted it was a mistake to leave him out as he could have solved Nigeria’s problems in the attacking third.
“I think it was a mistake on my part not dressing Chidera Ejuke for the game against Tunisia,” Eguavoen said after the game.
“I take responsibility for whatever that happened at the round of 16,” he added.
The Super Eagles will now turn their attention to the2022 World Cup playoffs, where they will face Ghana across two legs.
The winner of the tie will join the other four African teams in the other fixtures to represent Africa at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.