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2019 AFCON: Victory over Burundi more important than performance- Lawal

Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi (L) goes down under pressure from a player of Burundi in their opening match of Group at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

As reactions continue to trail Super Eagles opening match against Burundi at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, a former international, Garba Lawal has said the slim victory is much more important than the performance of the team.

His reaction is coming on the heels of opinions in some quarters that the Super Eagles did not measure up to expectations as they had to leave it late to beat their less illustrious opponents 1-0 in Alexandria.

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However, in a chat with Daily Trust yesterday, the coach of Real Stars of Kaduna said he was satisfied with the result obtained by the Super Eagles because at the group stage, what matters is how to win the three points.

He also noted that in any championship, victory in the opening match is very important so the Super Eagles deserve some commendation.

“I have heard people’s comments on the Super Eagles performance against Burundi. All I can say is that at this stage, what matters most is victory. Winning is more important than performance.

“Even if the team performed badly but won, then it is better than playing very well and then losing the three points.

“I believe that when they get out of the group, they will begin to pay more attention to their tactics and how to survive against the tougher opponents,” he said.

Lawal also said Samuel Chukwueze did well on his AFCON debut but he must put in more in the coming matches.

He said despite the big stage, the youngster from Villarreal made useful contributions to the team’s victory over Burundi.

“On Chukwueze, I can say he did his best. I believe he will improve as the championship progresses. He is making his debut in the AFCON so we have to give him more support,” he said.

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