Jo Bonfrere, a Dutch and former Nigeria national team manager, has exclusively told Completesports.com from his native country, the Netherlands, that Super Eagles were lucky to have plucked a 1-0 win against Burundi in their first Group B match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Alexandria, Egypt, on Saturday.
Bonfrere, who guided Nigeria’s U-23 Eagles – the Dream Team 1, to win the soccer gold medal of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, told Completesports.com that the Super Eagles players lacked creativity, as well as falling short of scoring ideas.
“I watched the match on television here in Holland,” Bonfre responded when Completesports.com called him up moments after the game.
“And I’m happy that Nigeria won their first match, but the Super Eagles did not impress me the way they played.”
Bonfrere, who was in charge of the Super Eagles when they won a silver medal in the 2000 edition of the AFCON jointly hosted by Ghana and Nigeria, went on to reel out Super Eagles’ shortcomings in the match against Burundi’s Swallows.
“There was no combination, no creativity, no proper penetrative moves. It’s just running, running and running,” Bonfrere remarked.
“This cost them of goal scoring ideas. If it were not the defensive blunder by the Burundian defender, perhaps the result would have been different.”
He adds that despite the apparent poor showing of the three-time African champions in Saturday’s game, Nigerians should be happy with the result – a crucial win in their first match of the tournament.
“When you win first game (of a tournament), the players grow in confidence,” Bonfrere said.
“If the players are in good confidence, and the manager teaches them good combinations, and they create scoring chances and score, yes, scoring is very important, then they will have good chance.
“There are big players in the Super Eagles. But they must do well in combinations, creativity and how to score goals.”
Super Eagles’ next match is against the Syli Nationale Guinea on Wednesday, June 26. They will round off their group campaign against the Barea of Madagascar on June 30.
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