Coach Jose Peseiro has said he is disappointed the Super Eagles fell to a heavy 4-0 loss in Portugal, but defended the penalty loss by Emmanuel Denise which swayed the advantage to the home team.
He said his team were poor in the first half, but improved after the break.
“I am sad, 4-0 was too big a defeat,” he admitted.
“In the first half, we did not start well, we did show good organization, didn’t pressure the opponents.
“It’s also true they have so much quality and that way they created their superiority.
“We were better in the second half, that we can cope against a big team like Portugal.”
He said the players gave their best, but must improve if they were to win the next AFCON in 2024.
The Portuguese coach said the defining moment of this friendly was the penalty miss by Nottingham Forest forward Emmanuel Denise.
“If we had scored at that moment, we could try to draw the game, but then we suffered letting in two more goals soon after and we lost our balance,” he explained.
“He (Denise)missed a penalty, but next time he can score. Who is the player in the world who does not miss a penalty?
“It was Denise missing and he has my protection.”