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Finidi blames Eagles defence for Benin loss

Finidi blames Eagles defence for Benin loss

Super Eagles coach Finidi George has blamed poor defending and loss of concentration for a shock 2-1 loss to Benin in a 2026 World Cup qualifier.

The Cheetahs of Benin are now top of Group C of the World Cup qualifiers after they fought back from a goal down to record a famous victory over star-studded Nigeria.

“We scored a good goal and after that we lost concentration, they got their equaliser and then they got their momentum.

“We didn’t defend well the long kick from the goalkeeper and they got their first goal,” he said.

“We had control of the game, but we didn’t defend well.

“If you don’t take your chances and don’t defend well in a World Cup qualifier, you pay for it.

“First half was good but for the goals (we conceded), while in the second half we pushed and defended well.”

He added, “Benin played to their strengths, they defended well and they used the counter

“They sat back and tried to play on the counter and that worked for them.

“Two blunders, two mistakes and they got their goals.

“We brought in two strikers in the second half, but it didn’t work.”

The coach admitted qualification for the World Cup will now be a lot more difficult for his team.

“It’s difficult, but until the last games, anything is still possible,” he said.

“Everything is possible in football, there could be a turnaround.

“We will see we can get the best out of the players in mid-season (in Europe), we have to get them back to perform.

“We have to start winning games.”

The Eagles will resume the World Cup qualifiers in March 2025 with a trip to Rwanda before a home game against bottom team Zimbabwe.

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