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Friday, 7 June, 2002, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Nigeria downcast after defeat
Taribo West (right) was injured
Nigerians are unhappy with the team's performance

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Nigerians are smarting from their team's elimination from the World Cup finals.

Fans expecting the Super Eagles to beat Sweden were bitterly disappointed.

"As a Nigerian, the defeat hurts and it means our best was not good enough," local football fan James Ademofe told BBC Sport Online.

"I was confident the Eagles would win because of the talent in the team," said Ade Odelabu, a bank worker.

"I decided to skip work until after the match, so I could savour a Nigerian win."

Joseph Yobo takes on Sweden's Fredrik Ljungberg
Joseph Yobo was impressive against Sweden

Like Odelabu, many Nigerians did not start work until the match was over.

Most shops opened late and many commercial buses and taxis did not operate.

For a handful of shops that did open, watching the game took priority over other matters.

Many huddled in front of television sets to watch Nigeria's exit from the tournament.

The result of the Eagles' last match against England is now meaningless, as they can no longer qualify.

Tactical ineptitude

Many people have blamed coach Adegboye Onigbinde's wrong tactics and choice of players for Nigeria's early exit.

"We lost because we were not good enough in terms of tactics," said television analyst Mike Maiyaki.

"You can't beat long-term planning and individual experience when competing in the World Cup."

Adegboye Onigbinde (middle)
Onigbinde's tactics have been questioned

After failing to win the African Nations Cup, Shaibu Amodu was dismissed as coach and the team disbanded.

Onigbinde, handed the task of re-building the side for the World Cup, dropped some established stars including former captain Sunday Oliseh.

A few fans reckon winning next year's All Africa Games under-23 football competition could put Nigeria back on track.

"We should start looking for the right players in time for that tournament so we can win it," said soccer critic Duyile Ogunsola.

Others want Onigbinde to be dropped for a foreign coach.

Dutchman Jo Bonfrere, sacked last year for poor results, was Nigeria's last foreign trainer.


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GROUP F
  P GD PTS
SWEDEN 3 +1 5
ENGLAND 3 +1 5
ARGENTINA 3 0 4
NIGERIA 3 -2 1

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