Nigeria started their 2022 Africa Men’s Senior Handball Championship with a 30-18 loss to Tunisia.
The Golden Arrows faced off in the first half against the record African champion to play a thrilling first half handball which ended 14-13 much to the delight of the fans.
But then Nigeria let go of the magic of the first half and made several errors and turnovers in the second half which allowed the Tunisians to punish them with an emphatic 30-18 victory.
Coach Rafiu Salami said his team missed their chances and allowed constant turnovers which kept the Tunisians in front for a large part of the match.
“We had a game plan and the guys stuck to it and that’s why we played well in the first half.” Coach Rafiu Salami said
“But in the second half we were in too much of a rush to score which caused the turnovers and then we were too scared to play because we were playing not to concede instead of playing to win”
The France-based coach said the team would do better against Cape Verde as they were the first top team to play alongside the Abuja-based clubs.
“All hope is not lost because I think we will do better against Cape Verde who, by the way, are a very good team.
I think we’ll get through this and we’ll do everything we can to win.”
Nigeria will face Cape Verde on Tuesday and a win could be enough for the Golden Arrows to advance to the quarter-finals.