Hull City of England player Sone Aluko says African champions Nigeria’s Super Eagles have been left reeling after they failed to qualify for next year’s CAF Africa Cup of Nations to defend their title.
The Super Eagles finished a disappointing third in Group A on eight points despite a 2-2 draw against South Africa on Wednesday night in the southern town of Uyo.
The failure to qualify mirrored the disappointment when Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2012 tournament hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
The scorer of Nigeria’s two goals, Sone Aluko, said the whole team was devastated. “I am disappointed, everybody is disappointed,” said the Hull City forward. “We did not get the result we wanted and we now have to pick ourselves up as a team”.
Out-of-contract coach Stephen Keshi blamed his players for taking South Africa too lightly in a match they needed to win to qualify for the tournament finals, to be held in Equatorial Guinea.
“Maybe we took South Africa for granted and we paid dearly for this”, said the coach, who was only reinstated to his post last month after being sacked by the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.