By Jacob Ajom
Nigeria defeated Ghana 2-1 Thursday to reach the final of the second West African Football Union Cup final in Abeokuta, South West Nigeria. Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia spoke after the match.
What is your assessment of your players’ performances against the Black Stars of Ghana?
Coach Samson Siasia: I think my players did very well, having to come from behind to win this game. It was a massive victory. I feel happy for them. This tournament has given me the opportunity to work closely with Nigerian-based players and I think they have done well so far.
You were almost losing your first match as a coach until eight minutes to the end of the match when the equalizer came. How were you feeling then?
I never believe it is over until it is over. A football match lasts for 90 minutes, so I was still waiting for the final whistle. The Ghanaians played very well. I congratulate my players. They kept working even when they were one goal down.
We have come this far and there is no going back. On Saturday, we will be crowned the champions.
Did you miss your injured captain, Chibuzo Okonkwo?
It was obvious that we missed him. Unfortunately, he has been ruled out of the tournament. Happily the player who stood in his place(Adedeji Adeyinka) did very well as he fed the attackers with the ball and protected the rear.
But we are confident we will win in Saturday because we have come too far to let go the trophy. We are in the final, there is no going back.
The position of a central defender has been a big issue even in Super Eagles Team A. With the performance of Gege Oriola in the encounter against the Black Stars, would you consider him for such a role in Team A?
I have known Gege for a long time now. He has been one of my consistent players since the days I started handling the junior teams. By his performance, he has shown that we have somebody who has been working very hard. It is good for him and the team.
It Appears your team has a problem with set pieces. They had 13 corner kicks and none troubled the Ghanaian keeper. Do you see this as a problem and what are you going to do about that?
Horrible. There is really a big problem but it is too late for us to do anything now. We do not have the chance to work on that now.
On Saturday, the Eagles will be meeting Togo, how prepared are your boys for the task ahead?
Psychologically, it is very difficult after such a hard game like the one against Ghana. It is not easy after a 120 minutes match. But we are ready. Like I said earlier, there is no going back as we will be crowned WAFU Kings come Saturday. We cannot afford to lose to the Hawks of Togo.