The inability of Nigeria’s technical crew to make necessary changes that could have helped the Super Eagles hang on for a draw against Argentina on Tuesday night cost the team a spot in the knockout rounds of the World Cup, the country's sports minister has said.
Nigeria were beaten 2-1 by a spirited La Albiceleste, who would have crashed out of the competition had the game ended in a draw.
Although the referee ruled out a clear chance for a second penalty award against Argentina, and substitute Odion Ighalo missed a few scoring opportunities, Nigeria's sports minister Solomon Dalung insisted that the team could have seen out the game without losing.
"We lost the match due to poor technical judgment which failed to inject necessary changes to compliment (sic) the effort of the team that was under last minute pressure," Dalung tweeted in reply to a post by a licensed FIFA players’ agent Onugbu Andy Okwuise.
Like Dalung, Onugbu blamed Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, for the loss.
"The players gave a very good account of themselves yesterday but one would’ve expected the coach to make a tactical change at that 86th minutes when that free kick was awarded against Nigeria," Onugbu said. "He would have introduced a defensive back up."