By Jacob Ajom
Former Nigerianinternational, Peter Rufai, has said that Nigeria lost to Egypt because the players lost focus.
“Oh! my brother,” Rufai started, in a telephone chat with Sports Vanguard, Wednesday morning, while reacting to Eagles defeat in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.

“We are a country to be reckoned with when it comes to African and world football but the way we have gone about it is like we lack confidence, we play like underdogs. No! It should not be so.”

Peter Rufai, who was Nigeria’s number one goalkeeper to USA ‘94 and France ‘98 World Cup, said the Nigerian players lost focus because they allowed the Egyptians to beat them through counter-attacks. “It did not matter what tactics or system coach Amodu wanted to apply.

I expected the players to have resolved to play to win. I expected them to play like true professionals, like businessmen, But they failed because they failed to programme themselves.”

Rufai, who was fondly called Dodomayana in his active days, said the players were not programmed because there was no structure.

“If we say we are aiming at the semi-final we should programme ourselves towards that target. Before that match, I advised that we se must be focussed and determined but what did we see?”

Rufai said he was particularly sad over the score line which he said was a disaster, adding that coach Shaibu Amodu should have done better.

“We played well in the first half. I expected the coach to have instructed them to up their game; instead, they were slowing down the game which gave the Egyptians room to play their game.”


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