Abuja - Ethiopia’s coach Sewnet Bishaw played the gallant loser on Saturday in Calabar by congratulating Nigeria for qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, even though he still complained about officiating.
Bishaw told sportswriters, shortly after his team lost 0-2 to Nigeria, that the Super Eagles showed class and used experience to overcome his team.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the loss in the second leg game of the final round play-off gave the Eagles a 4-1 aggregate win.
``As a team, we came here to win. But we could not use the chances that came our way.
``We had opportunities but Nigeria’s coach Stephen Keshi knows how to organise his team."
"Keshi used more of experienced foreign-based players and it worked for Nigeria,’’ he said.
Bishaw however blamed the referee for not awarding penalty kicks to his side on two occasions during the game.
``It was an unfair decision against us,’’ he said.
The Eagles scored through Victor Moses, who converted a penalty kick in the 19th minute, and substitute Obinna Nsofor, who scored the second goal in the 81st minute through a free kick.
On his part, Keshi, while speaking at the post-match conference, dedicated the victory to Nigerians for their support to the team.
``I particularly thank President Goodluck Jonathan for bringing good luck to the team and Gov. Liyel Imoke for the wonderful assistance to the team.
``I thank the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for their wonderful support that made us to qualify,’’ he said.
Keshi, however, said the team was not complacent in the game against Ethiopia.
‘’ We were not complacent but I noticed that my players showed anxiety to qualify.
Keshi said the allegation by the Ethiopian coach about biased officiating against his team was the opinion of the coach.
``We beat them in Addis Ababa and beat them again in Calabar. The game has been played and a winner emerged,’’ he said.