Nigeria coach 'confused' by Sadiq's rapid recovery in Spain



Nigeria coach 'confused' by Sadiq's rapid recovery in Spain

Nigeria coach José Peseiro says he is 'confused' about why Umar Sadiq could play for Spanish team Real Sociedad, despite an injury ruling the forward out the Africa Cup of Nations.

The 26-year-old Sadiq was included in Sociedad's squad for its Copa del Rey game at Osasuna on Wednesday and featured in the match, when Peseiro said he thought the player's injury would prevent him playing for Nigeria at AFCON.

"I'm also confused," Peseiro said when asked about Sadiq on Wednesday. "What I can say, I saw the report from the medical test that he's injured and that he cannot recover in 15 days, at least, or more time ... The report went to the club, and the club said he must come (back) to recover."

Peseiro said Sadiq wanted to stay with the Nigeria squad but that he and his coaching staff decided to replace him before Jan. 3, the final day to submit the squad lists for the tournament.

"I am happy that he recovered well. I am sad that he's not here to help us," Peseiro said.

Nigeria play host nation Ivory Coast on Thursday when the pressure is on Peseiro's Super Eagles following a 1-1 draw with Equatorial Guinea in their opening game. Ivory Coast started with a 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau.

The Portuguese coach has faced criticism after Nigeria's draw, while his team has also conceded at least a goal in each of its last six games including the 2-0 loss to Guinea in competition warm-up game.

Star forward Victor Osimhen scored but also missed several good chances in the team's tournament opener, which Nigeria dominated without winning. The Super Eagles had 19 shots at goal compared to seven from Equatorial Guinea.

"If you create the same opportunities, you're going to score," Peseiro said Wednesday. "Like I said the last time: Sometimes, the god gives, sometimes the god takes. It's the right time for god to give (to) us."

Keywords: AFCON Ivory Coast Africa Cup of Nations

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