Africa Cup of Nations rave of the moment, Mohamed Salah, has described Nigeria’s Super Eagles as the best team in the group stages of the tournament adding that he was surprised how they crashed out of the tournament.
The Liverpool superstar was the Man of the Match on Sunday as the Pharaohs defeated Morocco 2-1 in extra time to set up a semi-final against Cameroon at the Stade d’Olembe on February 3.
Assessing just how hard it is for teams to advance in the competition, Salah has pointed to the example of Nigeria—who started quickly before their elimination by Tunisia—as evidence of just how demanding the competition is.
“Nigeria had been the best team in the group stage and then they lost.“So you never know with any game. It’s tough for everyone.
“Algeria lost in the group stage, having won it last time, and they had a great team.
“Senegal qualified with one goal,” he added. “I’m not saying something bad, just that the tournament is tough.”
Salah was effectively neutralised in Egypt’s opening game of the tournament as they fell to a 1-0 defeat by a rampant Super Eagles side in Garoua.
While Nigeria followed that up with victories over Sudan and Guinea-Bissau, qualifying comfortably for the Last 16, their campaign came to a premature end with 1-0 defeat against Tunisia in the second round.
While errors from Maduka Okoye and Ola Aina were blamed for the defeat, as well as Alex Iwobi’s red card, Nigeria could only deliver a pale imitation of their group-stage performances as they limped out of the competition.