s head coach Jose Peseiro has said that he is pleased with defender Zaidu Sanusi’s performance in Nigeria’s narrow 1-0 win over Angola in the quarter-finals on Friday at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, reports.
Ademola Lookman scored the only goal of the game in the first half as Nigeria advanced to the semi-finals.
Sanusi, as in all of Nigeria’s last four games, was deployed as the left wingback in Peseiro’s preferred 3-4-3 formation, but he has failed to impress fans with no goal or assist despite finding himself severally in good attacking positions.
However, Peseiro has expressed his satisfaction with Sanusi’s display. The Portuguese tactician admitted that Sanusi, like every other player, made mistakes, but he maintained that such was expected of the fullback in the Super Eagles’ system.
Peseiro applauded Sanusi for playing better against Angola than he did against Cameroon in the quarterfinals, a game Nigeria won 2-0.
“I think Zaidu Sanusi played well, but it is not easy playing fullback in this system because they must go in the other line (attack) and come in this line (defence),” Peseiro said at his post-match press conference.
“It’s different for someone playing in the middle running 5m, 10m with the same speed. But for fullbacks, they must go with speed and come back with speed, and sometimes the fullback feels, in some moments, not fresh. And when not fresh, they don’t decide well. Normal when playing with 3-4-3 like we played our wingers play inside, it is normal to change the two fullbacks to stay more fresh.
“Zaidu, I think, played better in this match than in the last match (Cameroon). All the players in some moments, can make mistakes. I don’t like mistakes, but they can do mistakes.”