Heartbreak, disappointment and blame can best describe the state of a number of supporters of Nigeria’s Super Eagles after watching the elimination of their team from the World Cup on Tuesday.
Nigeria lost 2-1 to Argentina paving way for Lionel Messi’s side to progress from Group D to the knockout stage of the tournament. For Nigerian fans the loss has been hard to take in.
“One of our greatest disappointments tonight is that our boys did not take their chances. We played better than them, we possessed more of the ball but creatively we are not good in finishing and that actually cost us what we are facing tonight,” observed Segun Joseph, an events manager.
“Well heartbreak, heartbreak, for sure like I was sensing it from how we were playing because we squandered two great chances that would have put us right above the fixture and everything but as we squandered those chances. I knew that…Argentina had the zeal to still come back because they knew that (yes) they could still do it. And I think those were the focal points of the game, those two goals missed by Ighalo cost us the game,” lamented Kelechukwu Mgbeahuruike.
We were cheated; the race card
But Femi Ogundeji, another Super Eagles Fan, the game as different.
“It is so clear, everyone can see that it was a clear hand ball and it is supposed to be a penalty and because of the African thing they dismissed it. It is so painful. We could have drawn the match and we could have been in the round 16,” said Femi.
“Nigeria played very well, we did very well but as you can see, we were actually robbed. But if you ask me I think we actually did very well; it is a game that one person has to win at any given time,” Yinka Malomo conceded.
A draw could have been enough for the West African team to progress to the knockout stage of the tournament.
Nigeria were the just one of Africa’s five representatives from the last World Cup to return for the 2018 edition in Russia. Their exit leaves the last of Africa’s hopes in Senegal after the other countries Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt were knocked out.