Abuja - Lawrence Akpokona, the technical adviser of Crown FC of Ogbomosho, on Sunday said the Super Eagles’ 1-2 loss to Mali had put the team in an unnecessary pressure.
The home-based Eagles lost their opening game in the Africa Football Championship (CHAN), which kicked off in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday.
"The loss has put a lot of pressure on the team and placed them in an awkward situation where they will have to win their two other matches to qualify for the knockout stages.
"And it could have been avoided. I think the players were too slow to react whenever they were under attack from the Malians throughout the game.
"The defence was hesitating in taking decisions, which was not good. They should play as a team," he said.
Akpokona observed that as the reining African champions, it would not be nice for the Eagles to be knocked out of the competition in the first round.
The national team would meet Mozambique in their next game on Wednesday, January 15.