Udeze: Substitutions Nearly Cost Super Eagles AFCON Qualification

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Former Nigeria international Ifeanyi Udeze criticized coach Jose Peseiro’s substitutions in the 3-2 victory against Sierra Leone, stating that they almost cost the Super Eagles their AFCON qualification.

According to former Nigeria international Ifeanyi Udeze, he believes that poor substitutions made by Jose Peseiro nearly cost the Super Eagles their qualification for the 2023 AFCON.

Initially, the Eagles had a comfortable 2-0 lead thanks to a brace from Victor Osimhen, but Sierra Leone managed to pull a goal back through Mustapha Bundu.

In the 71st minute, Peseiro decided to make three substitutions, bringing on Kevin Akpoguma, Frank Onyeka, and Kelechi Iheanacho in place of Joe Aribo, Bright Osayi-Samuel, and Joe Aribo. Surprisingly, despite the changes, it was Sierra Leone who found the back of the net, equalizing the score to 2-2 with only six minutes remaining, courtesy of Augustus Kargbo.

Fortunately, Iheanacho stepped up in the 95th minute, scoring the winning goal that secured Nigeria’s qualification. The victory propelled the Eagles to the top of Group A and ensured their ticket to next year’s tournament.

Reflecting on the game, Udeze criticized Peseiro’s approach to the substitutions, which nearly had a negative impact on the team’s performance.

“For me he made changes that were not necessary, he made three changes at once which for me was not necessary,” Udeze said on Brila FM.

“Those kind of changes is when you are down and you need fresh legs you can make three or four changes at once.

“You are leading and making three, four changes at once was necessary except when a player indicate he’s tired or injured then you can make the changes. For me those kind of changes doesn’t make sense.”

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