Nigeria vs Mali: Finidi George Impressed by Super Eagles’ Display Despite Loss Against Les Aigles

Nigeria vs Mali: Finidi George Impressed by Super Eagles’ Display Despite Loss Against Les Aigles

Ero Samson
updated at March 27, 2024 at 2:33 PM
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E. B. Toure
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  • The Super of Nigeria suffered defeat at the hands of West African nation, Mali
  • Two goals from the Eagles condemned the 2023 AFCON finalists to a defeat
  • Nigeria’s coach, Finidi George, has hailed his side’s effort despite the loss

The Super Eagles of Nigeria suffered their first defeat since their impressive run at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), when they faced Mali on Tuesday.

The match against their West African counterparts was widely anticipated to result in an easy victory for the Nigerian team but the outcome was different from what many had predicted.

Nigeria, Super Eagles, CAF, Mali, Finidi, NFF, Coach , Friendly
The Super Eagles of Nigeria put in a lacklustre showing in the clash against Mali. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

Goals from Atalanta's El Bilal Toure, as well as Brest's Kamory Doumbia, sealed the victory for Mali, condemning the 2023 AFCON finalists to defeat.

In the aftermath of the fixture, coach of the Nigerian team, Finidi George, has insisted his side put in a stellar showing, despite the obvious defeat.

Finidi speaks on Nigeria's clash against Mali

Speaking to the media following the conclusion of the game, as reported by All Nigeria Soccer, the 52-year-old defending the performance by his team on the night stated:

"If you take away those two goals, you'd think we were the winning team. That's football; it is what it is. You win sometimes, and you lose sometimes."

In an effort to minimise the impact of the loss, the Enyimba FC coach remarked:

"It is a friendly game; you see one or two players that can be used in the future. That is the most important thing."

Coach Finidi's remarks appear to be an effort to quell discussions about the Nigerian team's lacklustre performance.

This defeat against Les Aigles marks the first time Nigeria has lost to Mali in over 48 years.

Despite this setback, the Super Eagles will aim to recover from their defeat when they face South Africa in their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification series in June.

Finidi explains why Nigeria lost

Sports Brief also previously reported that Super Eagles coach, Finidi, explained why Nigeria lost against Mali.

The 52-year-old attributed their defeat to injuries to key strikers, which affected their approach on the night.

The Nigerian team were forced to shape up in a formation for the tie without a recognised centre-forward.

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).
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)