AFCON 2023: Nigeria’s Super Eagles Icon Speaks on Jose Peseiro Following Defeat Against Ivory Coast

AFCON 2023: Nigeria’s Super Eagles Icon Speaks on Jose Peseiro Following Defeat Against Ivory Coast

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Nigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
Cameroon logo
Ivory Coast logo
Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
William Troost-Ekong logo
W. Troost-Ekong
PAOK Saloniki logoDNigeria logo
Franck Kessié logo
F. Kessié
Al-Ahli SFC logoMIvory Coast logo
Sébastien Haller logo
Borussia Dortmund logoFIvory Coast logo
  • The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations concluded with a thrilling final between Nigeria and Ivory Coast
  • Coach, Jose Peseiro, has been under the spotlight following the defeat against Les Elephants
  • A former Nigerian forward has aired his take on the Portuguese gaffer following the 2-1 defeat

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) climaxed with a thrilling final between Nigeria and the host nation, Ivory Coast.

The match, which served as a testament to the captivating football showcased across the African continent, was filled with an array of heart-stopping moments and exhilarating plays.

AFCON, Nigeria, Super Eagles, Peter Ijeh, Ivory Coast, CAF.
Nigeria players react after losing the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final against Ivory Coast. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

Despite being favourites entering into the fixture, the Super Eagles suffered a surprising defeat, thanks to goals from midfielder, Franck Kessie, and forward, Sebastien Haller, which nullified the first-half strike from captain William Troost-Ekong.

This unexpected defeat has been widely attributed to the tactical and personnel adjustments made by coach Jose Peseiro for the final.

The Portuguese manager, who had divided opinions prior to the tournament, opted to include Zaidu Sanusi and Samuel Chukwueze in the starting lineup, replacing Bright-Osayi Samuel and Moses Simon, who had featured in the semi-final victory against South Africa. Additionally, the team seemed to lack the intensity they had displayed in previous matches leading up to the final.

Nevertheless, amidst the ongoing flurry of opinions and discussions surrounding the manager's abilities, a legendary figure of the Super Eagles has shared his perspective on the 63-year-old tactician.

Super Eagles icon on coach Peseiro

In a chat with Sports Brief, former Super Eagles forward, Peter Ijeh, shared his perspective on the Nigerian team's coach.

"It was only in the fixture against Cameroon we saw the character we've been longing for from the players. Now, it’s up to the coach’s philosophy to continue to get the best performances out of the players.”

When pressed further about whether he would endorse retaining the manager after the AFCON performance, the 46-year-old replied:

"I didn't hire him; those who did should evaluate whether he's met the set targets. If not, they should seek a better manager."

The seemingly diplomatic stance of the former Super Eagles forward reflects the sentiments of some key figures in Nigerian football. While some stress the importance of continuity, others, disappointed by the performance, call for the manager's removal.

However, the official position of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) regarding the manager remains unknown, especially since the coach's contract expired after the conclusion of the tournament in Ivory Coast.

Four reasons why Nigeria lost against Ivory Coast

Sports Brief in another report identified four reasons why the Super Eagles of Nigeria lost the AFCON final against Ivory Coast.

The Super Eagles had defeated the Ivorians earlier in the competition's group phase. However, goals from Kessie and Haller would seal victory for Emerse Fae’s team.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).