Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro says they got their tactics right in the crucial 1-0 victory over hosts Ivory Coast in a Group A clash at the Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday.
After an opening draw, Nigeria have now put one foot in the round of 16 with a win that was handed to them by a William Troost-Ekong penalty 10 minutes into the second half after Victor Osimhen had been fouled.
“We put together a good strategy and my team did it well. I think we deserved the win,” Peseiro said. “For the next match (against Guinea-Bissau on Monday) we have to control the game, try to be less timid and not give possession to the opponent.
“I told my players not to savour the victory. We have four days left before the next match. From day one I told them: ‘you must win the Afcon’,” Peseiro added.
Ivorian coach Jean Louis Gasset says his side were outmuscled and the loss is a wake-up call.
“It was a very physical match; Nigeria chose to play very low with a five-man defence to exploit counterattacks with their star striker. It was a tightly contested match,” he said.
“We knew that we had a young team in terms of experience but not in terms of quality. I have confidence in this group; I know that it is young, I know that it is tender; it simply requires psychological work.”
The Ivorians have three points which may already be enough to go through as one of the best third-placed teams, but he will want a win against a tough Equatorial Guinea.
“We are going to prepare for a win. I am hoping that our two injured players [Sébastien Haller and Simon Adingra] will be able to play at least part of the match.”