Nigeria’s hope of qualifying for the next round of the U-21 Boys Volleyball Africa Nations Cup suffered a huge setback as they lost in three straight sets 22-25; 20- 25 and 23-25 to Rwanda on Thursday evening.
Basking in euphoria of the 3-2 dramatic comeback against Cameroon, Nigeria started well but eventually lost to a technically better side in the Rwandans in the game played at the indoors volleyball court Package B of the Abuja National Stadium started on a good note for Nigerians
Speaking with the captain of the team, Moses Gana, he acknowledged that they made errors as a team and would work on their lapses ahead of their final pool A match with Tunisia today.
“We came out strong but we lost. As a sports man, we either prepare to win or lose. We defeated Cameroon and we lost to Rwanda,” he said.
“The defeat is a good thing and we will work on our lapses, analyse and see how we will play against Tunisia”, he concluded.
The coach, Enishanma Elam expectedly wasn’t pleased with the result and blamed the players for the loss.
According to him, he never expected that his team would lose by such a margin to the Rwandans.
We never expected to lose to Rwanda. We were leading them in the first set by three points. First sets in volleyball matter a lot. We lost concentration during the game and we paid for it.
“It was a good game but the boys were not playing for each other. Each of them wanted to be star, he noted.
He is however optimistic that his team will defeat the Tunisians either by 3-0 or 3-1 to proceed for a chance for semi-finals berth.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Egypt mauled Chad winning three straight set, 25-20; 25-19 and 25-15
This championship serves as 2019 World Championship qualifiers where the top two African teams will have the chance to represent Africa in the FIVB U-21 championship in Bahrain.