William Troost-Ekong believes the Super Eagles were unlucky not to salvage at least a draw from Friday’s friendly against Ecuador.
La Tri won the thrilling encounter 1-0 with Villarreal winger Pervis Estupian scoring the decisive goal in the third minute.
The former African champions put up a good display in the game, but were let down by questionable officiating and profligacy in front of goal.
“I thought it was a good performance from the boys barring in mind we played under a new coach. We had like five, six training sessions since we got here,” Captain Troost-Ekong said during his interaction with the media after the game
“It was an improvement from our performance against Mexico especially in the first half and against a strong Ecuador team. I don’t think we deserve to lose in the end.
“One thing we want to do in these games is improve our performance and understand what the coach wants from us.
“Of course the most important thing now is the two matches we play in Africa (AFCON 2023 qualifiers) Things will get better when we play Sierra Leone next week.”
The Watford defender also reflected on the performance of his team against the South Americans.
“Ecuador gained momentum with that early goal. It was like a home game for them. The atmosphere was lively. It was great to see a lot of Ecuador fans in the stadium. Nigerian fans were also there too,” Troost-Ekong declared.
“They started the game very well. Then we took control and played well in the second half as well.
“Ecuador also created some good chances and that was because we were a little impatient and tried to get the equaliser. It was a good performance from us and we deserved more than that the eventual result.
“Half time message that we have tried and pushed hard from our performance in the first half. In the 15 minutes of the first half, we tried to press a little higher.
“We took more risks by playing one on one. I think you see in the second half, they didn’t have much of the ball. They were not comfortable on the ball.
“May be we started the game by respecting them too much. We know they are a very good team. We played better in the second half.”