Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro has made a shallow excuse after his team played a 1-1 draw against Zimbabwe in Sunday’s 2026 World Cup Qualifiers Group C encounter.
The Super Eagles came into the match as favourites to win but found themselves trailing in the first half.
The three-time African champions conceded in the 26th minute through Walter Musona’s brilliant free-kick from 35 yards out.
The goal clearly unsettled the visitors and they never showed any intent to recover for the remainder of the first half.
The second half was much better for Nigeria following a triple substitution which also involved goalscorer of the equaliser Kelechi Iheanacho.
Speaking after the match, Jose Peseiro blamed the “long” seven hour trip to Butare, Rwanda where the match was hosted.
The team arrived in Central East Africa a day before game.
“It was a tough, difficult trip from Nigeria in the flight, many hours, the players didn’t rest enough for quick play at the same level,” said Peseiro, as cited by Pulse Sports.
He added, “First half, very bad, second half, much better.”
Super Eagles star Alex Iwobi echoed the same sentiments, saying: “He’s already said the travel was a lot for us, after the game (against Lesotho) we had to fly four hours then another three-hour coach down here which wasn’t easy but as a player, we shouldn’t use that as an excuse, we’re professional enough and we have lots of quality in the side.”
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