Burundi coach Olivier Niyungeko says his side were unlucky to have lost 1-0 to Nigeria in their first group game at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Substitute Odion Ighalo’s strike from close range condemned Burundi to a defeat in their debut appearance at the AFCON tournament.
He said, “We showed that we are a good football country because of the way we played our football. We forced Nigeria to play long balls because our defence and midfield had done its work well,” Niyungeko said in the post-match interview.
“It was unfortunate we conceded late after 76 minutes but it was a small mistake which happens in football and we can only learn and get better.”
Captain of the Les Hirondelles, Saido Berahino, was also proud of his teammate’s performance against Nigeria but urged them to go all out for a win on their next game against Madagascar.
“We lost but I think we should be proud of our performance. We played like a team and we showed what kind of brotherhood we have with the way we stuck together throughout the game. It was a good performance today,” Berahino said in his post-match interview.
“We have to pick up from here and with some new confidence because for all of us this was the first time we were on such a stage. Next game against Madagascar, we should set out to win because we now have some bit of experience.”