ETUHU BLAMES LOSS TO ARGENTINA ON POOR PREPARATION
Eagles' midfielder, Dickson Etuhu, has revealed his frustration at a lack of high-altitude training prior to their 1-0 defeat by Argentina on Saturday.
“You could tell (Argentina) were used to it because they'd been there for quite a while,” he told BBC World Service's Sportsworld programme.
“You take five or six steps, you feel like you've just done a whole lap.”
He also described the controversial ball as “the worst ball ever”, saying that it was “horrible” to play with.
The Super Eagles lost out to an impressive headed goal from un-marked Gabriel Heinze in the sixth minute of the game. However, Nigeria managed to keep Argentina from adding to her lead for the entire game, despite having the team's goal peppered throughout much of the match.
Etuhu says the high-altitude conditions made the hard task of containing Argentina all the more difficult. In the run-up to the first game, the Nigerians had been training in Durban – which is not a high-altitude venue – before travelling to Johannesburg on Friday, giving the squad only one day to acclimatise to the conditions.
“It's the worst feeling ever,” he said. “It goes straight to your head.
“So, you have to battle with that, and at the same time, deal with players such as Messi. It's not easy.”
For the first time in a long time, you could see that we had some sort of coaching. He said keeping players like Messi under control is impossible given the depth of Argentina's squad.