Daniel Akpeyi defended his teammates from criticism following Nigeria’s 2-1 defeat to Algeria in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) semi-final.

Super Eagles goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi has appealed to Nigerians to give him and his teammates another chance to utilize the experience they have garnered at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Besides the trio of Ahmed Musa, Mikel Obi and Kenneth Omeruo who have attended at least more than one Africa Cup of Nations competitions others have just had their debut at AFCON and Akpeyi disclosed that they have gained invaluable experience that will help them at future competitions.

Akpeyi who was trying to justify his positioning in the lead up to Algeria’s second goal but he stressed that he won’t be losing sleep over the impression people have of him or the team.

“It is very sad that we have to lose in such a manner,” Akpeyi told journalists.

“I have to say that, that kind of free kick it is so hard to do anything at the point in time. I wish I could replay it but it is all over now.

“We just have to look forward to the third place game and try to come out better prepared. I think it doesn’t really matter what people say about the team. These players have actually tried.

“A lot of teams have been knocked out of the AFCON and the Nigerian team is still here. I’m very sure that if this team can be given a chance we will be able to fix things together.

“Experience is one game at a time so with the tournament they have experienced, we have all experienced because this is also my first AFCON will take it into the next tournament if we have the opportunity again.”

The Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper nonetheless thumbed up the performance of the Desert Foxes of Algeria and he reckoned that they are a very tactical side that does not joke with their chances.

“They are a very good side and I think they are also tactically disciplined. They had their chances and they took it as a good side that they are.”

Nigeria will battle for the third place match on Wednesday against Tunisia in a game the Eagles will strive to extend their record of never losing a third-place game at the AFCON since they made their debut in the competition in 1963.

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