Head coach of Nigeria’s U23 football team, Samson Siasia is still reeling from the second half display of his charges against Mali during their opening game of the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Senegal.

Nigeria had stormed to a 3-0 half time lead before a shocking defensive showing in the second half allowed the Senegalese a route back to the game which eventually finished 3-2.

Siasia acknowledges his side did not reach desired standards in the second half against Mali and expects improvements ahead of Wednesday’s game against Egypt in Mbour.

“North African countries are a little bit difficult to play against because of their organization and tactical discipline in the field of play.

“The are very good in free kicks and all other forms of set pieces so we don’t want to commit too much fouls around (dangerous) areas.

“They have a big striker that can keep the ball and their crosses are very dangerous too,” the Nigeria trainer said during his pre-match press conference.
Siasia however insists there are weaknesses which will be exploited against the Egyptians as he looks to power Nigeria to a place in the semi finals.

“They have right and left midfield players that are very fast but we know we are going to play against them.

“We will try to catch them on the fast break because that is one of our qualities.

“Physically, we are stronger too so we have to use our strength against them too.

“We must make sure that we create chances which we can use to score goals against them.

“(Wednesday’s game) is very important for us. We need to win that game because if we do that, we are in the semi finals already.

“If we are to do that, we must play better than we did against Mali in the second half in our last game.

“We did well to score three goals in the first half-something we have never managed before-but we showed that defensively, we are not strong.
“However, I am very happy with our strikers,” he said .

Wednesday’s game is live on SuperSport with build-up commencing from 19:45 CAT.

Supersport