By John Essien
Head Coach Jose Peseiro suffered his second straight defeat since taking up the role to handle the Super Eagles last month.
Despite losing to Ecuador in their second friendly game in the United States on Friday, the Portuguese was full of praise for his players for an improved performance against La Tricolor.
Recall that the three-time champions of Africa were beaten 2-1 by Mexico before rounding off their United States tour with another defeat.
However, Peseiro has defended his team’s performance as he went on to question the referee’s decision not to award the Eagles a penalty in the first half.
“But today in the last 25 to 30 minutes we were in command but only in the first 15 minutes we didn’t play well. We had players who can control the match and be in command of the game but in the first 15 minutes we could not. So after the first 15 minutes we played well in my opinion.
“The second half was much better but it is not easy to put pressure for 90 minutes. And of course I don’t like to speak about the referee but at least we deserved one penalty, no VAR but in the stadium a clear penalty was shown. The goalkeeper touched the foot of our striker (Terem Moffi) but anybody can make mistake, I can commit mistake, the referee, players can commit mistake also.
“We played much better today compared to the game against Mexico. I think we pressured more, created more opportunities. Against Mexico we created opportunities but today we created more. More pressure more organisation and remember against Mexico we only trained two times and some players trained just once.”
Ecuador ran out 1-0 winners thanks to a third minute goal by Villarreal left-back Pervis Estupinan.
The defender took advantage of poor defending by the Eagles backline to head home a setpiece.
But the Eagles came out more purposeful and bossed the remainder of the game but failed to convert some decent scoring chances.
Up next for Peseiro and his team is the 2023 AFCON qualifiers against Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe.