The Super Eagles have crashed out of the ongoing 2016 African Nations Championship after a 0-1 loss to Guinea.
The Eagles had gone into the game top of Group C with four points from a 4-1 win over Niger and a 1-1 draw with Tunisia.
Guinea were second with two points, while Tunisia were third – also with two points.
Victory meant Guinea ended the group stage with five points. Tunisia, which had held Nigeria to a 1-1 draw in the second group game on Friday, put in their best performance of the championship, trashing Niger 5-0 to top the group.
Meanwhile, Niger remained rooted at the bottom of the group with a single point.
A draw would have been enough for the Eagles to qualify for the quarter-finals of the tournament. However, they were unable to secure that after a disappointing performance
Ahead of the game, ex-internationals Henry Nwosu and Garba Lawal had warned the Eagles to be cautious and go for a win.
Nwosu, a former Eagles midfielder, told one of our correspondents on Monday that he believed the Tuesday clash would be tough and urged the Nigerian team to target all three points in the game.
He said, “I expect the match against Guinea to be tough because any two of the four teams in Group C can still qualify for quarterfinals. Our boys should be very cautious in that game. They should go all out to make sure we get a win. If at the end of the day we get a draw, it would still be okay.
“I am not comfortable with the Eagles’ midfield. The transition from the defence to the midfield and the attack has not been too good. They need to do some extra work in the midfield. The strikers seem not to have good service from the midfielders. So they need to work on that area.”
Lawal said the Eagles had to be tactically discipline and approach the game against the Guineans with all seriousness.
“The Eagles need to take the match seriously. This is a tournament and the group is open. Guinea coach has been boasting ahead of the game. He can say what he wants to say, football is practical. It’s all about 90 minutes,” Lawal said.