Burundi captain Saido Berahino (pictured above vs William Troost-Ekong) says the Swallows can be proud of their performance despite going down to a 1-0 defeat to Nigeria in Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group B encounter at the Alexandria Stadium, reports Completesports.com.
The Swallows put up a brave display in their first ever game at the AFCON finals against the star-studded Nigerian side and were unlucky not get at least a point in the game.
Cedric Amissi came close to handing Burundi the lead in the 14th minute but his well struck shot was saved by Daniel Akpeyi.
Burundi were denied by the crossbar in the 37th minute when Cedric Nsabiyumva connected a header off a Shassir Nahimana free-kick. Nsabiyumva picked up the rebound but his volley went wide off target.
Substitute Odion Ighalo scored the winning goal for Nigeria 13 minutes from full time.
”We lost today but I think we should be proud of our performance. We played like a team and we showed what kind of brotherhood we have with the way we stuck together throughout the game. It was a good performance today,” Berahino told reporters after the game.
He added: “We have to pick up from here and with some new confidence because for all of us, this was the first time we were on such a stage. Next game against Madagascar, we should set out to win because we now have some bit of experience.”
Berahino will lead Burundi out in their next game against fellow AFCON finals debutants Madagascar on Wednesday, June 26. The Super Eagles of Nigeria will also clash with the Syli Nationale of Guinea same day in Alexandria.
By Adeboye Amosu