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Why we lost to Super Eagles — Sierra Leone captain Caulker

SIERRA Leone captain Steven Caulker has explained what his side did wrong in their defeat against the Super Eagles in Abuja yesterday.

The Leone Stars fought bravely but still lost 2-1 to the Super Eagles in their opening 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Group A fixture at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium.

Jonathan Morsay fired the plucky visitors in front early in the first half and they nearly increased their lead before Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen struck for Nigeria to earn Jose Peseiro his first victory as head coach.

While the England-born former Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool defender admitted that the Super Eagles had more quality than his side, he believed the Leone Stars were not assertive enough.

“We’re a young team. We have a lot of youngsters in the team,” the 30-year-old, who is now a free agent after leaving Fenerbahce, told reporters.

“We are building for the future. Obviously we gave Nigeria too much respect and they scored two good goals against us. They have a lot of quality players in their team.”

Sierra Leone created almost as many chances as Nigeria in the open game on an uneven surface that hampered performance, and Caulker is confident his team will get things right and qualify for back-to-back AFCONs.

“We made a lot of mistakes,” he confessed. “But, obviously we will correct them in subsequent games.”

The Leone Stars are third in Group A and will face leaders Guinea-Bissau on Monday.

Guinea-Bissau are on top of the group after their 5-1 win over Sao Tome and Principe yesterday, with Nigeria in second place.

The top two teams in the group will qualify for the tournament, scheduled for Cote d’Ivoire next year.

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Naija Times