‘He gave me some excuses’ – Eguavoen admits Sadiq didn’t play on same level as Awoniyi:: All Nigeria Soccer

'He gave me some excuses' - Eguavoen admits Sadiq didn't play on same level as Awoniyi

‘He gave me some excuses’ – Eguavoen admits Sadiq didn’t play on same level as Awoniyi

Interim Nigeria boss Augustine Eguavoen has acknowledged that Almeria star Umar Sadiq did not play on the same level as Taiwo Awoniyi after coming off the bench to replace the Union Berlin striker in the 72nd minute of a 1-0 win vs Egypt  in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations on Tuesday evening.

In truth, Sadiq, who is having another outstanding season at Almeria, did not add value when he came on, failing to hold up play, create a goal threat and didn’t cause problems for the backline.

Eguavoen argued that the former Rangers man was nervy because he was playing in his first major tournament – something that didn’t hold water as Sadiq was a key member of the Nigeria squad that won bronze at the Olympic Games in 2016, has Serie A experience and sixteen games under his belt in European competitions.

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The 24-year-old made his senior debut against the seven-time African champions.

Asked if he was bothered that Sadaq didn’t play on the same level as the player he replaced, Eguaoven told reporters at the post-match press conference : “Umar I think this is the first time playing in a very big stage and we have to talk to him.

“He gave me some few excuses after the game but it’s something psychological so we have to talk to him and address it in future games.”

Sadiq started all the six matches played by the Dream Team VI at the 2016 Olympics, scoring four goals.

Igho Kingsley

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