Coach Jose Peseiro has admitted hosts Cote d’Ivoire deserved to be champions of Africa after they beat the Super Eagles 2-1 in Sunday’s Final in Abidjan.
The Ivorians fought back from a first-half goal by captain William Ekong to score two goals in the second half to win their third AFCON title.
“We can talk about strategy, tactics, but the key point is that our team didn’t play at their level,” the Portuguese coach said.
“We had a fantastic tournament, but today (Sunday), Côte d’Ivoire were better than us.
“When that happens, what else we can say otherwise, bravo Ivory Coast.”.
Peseiro further said that the opposing team reacted fantastically to the goal they conceded, “they didn’t appear nervous”, unlike his team, who reportedly blamed the pressure of the game.