Skipper Mikel Obi and coach Gernot Rohr have admitted the Swallows of Burundi were a tough opposition for the Super Eagles in their opening AFCON 2019 group game in Alexandria.
The Eagles needed a late goal by substitute Odion Ighalo to beat the AFCON debutants Saturday night to go top of Group B after Guinea and Madagascar played out a 2-2 draw in the other game in this section.
“It was a very difficult game,” Mikel Obi said after the absorbing physical contest against the Burundians.
“Burundi were a very organised team and it was difficult for us to break them down.
“They can run and run and run.
“But it was good to win our first game.
“We want to win the next game (vs Guinea on Wednesday) so as to qualify as quickly as possible to the next round.”
Rohr equally accorded Burundi respect after what they displayed against his team.
“It was a difficult match because Burundi were well organised after they qualified from a tough group that had Gabon and Mali,” he remarked.
“But the solidarity in the team made the difference for us.
“We are happy to win the first match and we also know know our second game against Guinea will be difficult.”