Dream Team VI head coach Samson Siasia says his side were lucky to survive Sunday’s onslaught by the Mali U23 side in their opening fixture at the ongoing CAF U23 Championship hosted by Senegal.
Nigeria survived a late scare from Mali with a 3-2 win in their Group B clash at the Caroline Faye Stadium, M’Bour after taking a three goal lead at half time.
Reacting to his side’s abysmal second half display, the former Super Eagles handler condemned his defenders for their costly mistakes that gifted the Malians two goals in nine minutes.
“It was a difficult match. We played very well in the beginning and scored three goals.
“The defenders made two mistakes which cost us, and they (Mali) scored twice. The defenders panicked and they (Mali) almost equalized. I guess we were lucky to escape.” Siasia told CAF’s official website.
A first half brace from Junior Ajayi and Muhammed Usman’s 33rd minute strike had put Siasia and his troops on the path of victory only for a spirited second half performance by the Malians saw them reduce the deficit with two quick goals, but the equalizer remained elusive as the Nigerians held on to secure maximum points and stay top of the group B log.