Black Galaxies coach, Annor Walker, says his side did not deserve to lose to Niger in the quarterfinals of the Championship for African Nations (CHAN) in Algeria.
Last Saturday, Ghana suffered a shock 0-2 defeat to end their campaign from the tournament.
An eleventh minute own goal from defender Konadu Yiadom and a sublime finish by Soumana Hainokye Boubacar secured the win for Niger.
The head coach, who sounded extremely disappointed after the game said, “When they (Niger) got an early goal, it gave them more determination and, on our side, it demoralised us…and when we conceded the second goal, we struggled to come back and eventually lost. I don’t think we deserved to lose,” Walker said at the post match conference.
“Seriously I don’t know what to say because I am short of words. It is a very big blow losing this match but everything that God does is good,” he added.
On the other hand, Niger coach Harouna Doula praised his players after eliminating Ghana.
“After such a game, one can only feel joy and satisfaction thanks to these players. These players have made Niger reach this stage. People asked us how far we wanted to go.
“At this stage, I can say that these youngsters are writing history. It is the first time for Niger to reach this stage at the CHAN. It is satisfying for my players. I believe that every Nigerien is content,” Doula told the media.
He continued, “Tournaments like this one do not come by every day. Our last participation in the knockout stages was in 2011. We need to believe that we can go as far as possible. If our players can take away any form of restriction, then we will do our best.
“We have been growing in this tournament. Against Congo, the players were intimidated. Against Cameroon, I felt that they were free. Against Ghana, they believed in their talent.
“We need to set ourselves free from negative pressure and be confident in our abilities. Many teams are stiff because they are not used to playing at such a tournament.
On the Algeria game
“I believe that after today’s game, we can expect a beautiful game against Algeria. We started the tournament slowly with a goalless draw against Congo and then against Cameroon, we scored a goal and today, against Ghana, we scored twice.
“This shows that we are achieving the progress that we wanted. We will not play a closed game. We will rely on our strengths. We need to give the people of Oran a beautiful game.”
Niger will face hosts Algeria on Tuesday in Oran in the semifinals.
By Kofi Owusu Aduonum