October 22, 2021

Mounie ‘disappointed’ after Benin defeat to Nigeria in Afcon qualifier

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The 26-year-old forward felt frustrated after the Squirrels lost to the Super Eagles following a last gasp effort

Steve Mounie has expressed his disappointment after the Republic of Benin lost 1-0 to Nigeria in Saturday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game in Porto Novo. 

Genk forward Onuachu scored a late-minute effort to ensure the Super Eagles secure victory in the encounter.

The result ended the Squirrels impressive home form and delayed their qualification for the biennial tournament as a draw would have been enough to see them seal their place in the competition.

Mounie has expressed his frustration following the loss but has now shifted his focus to their game against Sierra Leone on Tuesday.

“To concede right at the death it’s disappointing. We fought hard in the game and thought we did enough to get at least a draw,” Mounie told the media.

“Things like this happen in football and we have to put it behind us. The game against Sierra Leone is what we should be thinking about now. Hopefully, we can get a good result and get the qualification ticket.”

Nigeria national team coach Gernot Rohr, who has now led his side to qualify for their second consecutive Africa Cup of Nations, has expressed his sympathy with the Squirrels for the loss, given their effort in the encounter.

“It’s easier to play if you are already qualified so the players wanted to go ahead,” Rohr said.

“The challenge was to win here since 2013, Benin has not lost a match at home and the players absolutely wanted to do so and to be the first in eight years to beat them.

“It hurts my heart to see an opponent lose at the last second but it’s true there is no place for emotions, really in football”.

Nigeria will look to further increase their lead at the top of the Group L table when they take on Lesotho at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on Tuesday.

The Super Eagles finished third at the last edition of the continental tournament in Egypt, behind winners Algeria and Senegal.

Their best performances at the biennial competition were in 1980, 1994 and 2013, where they won the highly coveted trophy.

The Super Eagles remain the team with the most bronze medal at the tournament, winning it eight times.

They will hope to clinch their fourth title at the 2022 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.