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Leone Stars captain optimistic of defeating Super Eagles in return leg

“It’s just one game, and we still have five more to play even though we felt that there were a few decisions that on another day could have hopefully gone our way.”

• June 10, 2022
Super Eagles vs Sierra Leone
Super Eagles vs Sierra Leone

Leone Stars’ team captain Steven Caulker is optimistic about Sierra Leone’s chances of defeating Nigeria when they meet in the reverse fixture in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Qualifiers.

First-half goals by Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen made the difference as the Super Eagles won 2-1 at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on Thursday.

The Nigerian side struck back after Sierra Leone took a shock early lead in a display that was hardly the most convincing.

Caulker told journalists at a post-match conference that he was confident that his team would get a result against the Super Eagles on home soil in March 2023.

He noted that his team showed too much respect for Nigeria during Thursday’s game and as a result made too many errors.

The centre-back added that they would however go back to the drawing board and correct their mistakes.

“I am very optimistic about our chances as we await the return leg of this fixture on home soil because we held our own during a large part of the game. We definitely got some areas to improve on, but like the coach said we are in a period of transition with a young team,” the Leone Star skipper stated.

He further mentioned that his team “missed it when we sat back on our lead and gave Nigeria too much respect and allowed them back into the game.”

Caulker noted that there were a lot of positives to take from the game and claimed that poor officiating caused his team from taking something out of the game.

“It’s just one game and we still have five more to play even though we felt that there were a few decisions that on another day could have hopefully gone our way. We’d like to think that when we host Nigeria we will have these kinds of decisions go our way and hopefully win the game,” explained Caulker. “These decisions change games and I think we were a little unfortunate today as it could have been a different result.”

After the first round of Group A games in the 2023 AFCON qualifiers, Guinea-Bissau are top with three points with a superior goals difference (+4).

The Super Eagles also have three points and a goal difference of +1.

Sierra Leone and São Tomé and Principe have no points, and are in third and fourth positions, respectively.


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