Kaita owns up to moment of madness
Nigeria midfielder Sani Kaita said he has only himself to blame for his sending off, which let in Greece to win an all important World Cup Group B match, but the Super Eagles remain hopeful of reaching the knockout stage.
Midfielder Kaita's 33rd minute dismissal for attempting to kick Vasileios Torosidis by the touchline was the turning point against Greece, who recorded their first win and first goals in the World Cup on Thursday.
"I made a mistake, he hit me with the ball and I went hard on him. I made a mistake and I want to say sorry to my players and to all Nigerians," lamented Kaita, who left the pitch in tears.
A spokesman for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ademola Olajire, admitted that the team's morale has sagged but the coaches are psyching them up for Tuesday's must-win match against South Korea.
"Team morale is a bit down after the loss to Greece, but the coaches are working on them not to drop their heads because they still believe we have a lifetime chance of qualifying for the next round, if we beat South Korea," said Olajire.
Argentina lead Group B with six points from three matches, South Korea and Greece have three points apiece while Nigeria are bottom of the table with no points.
However, the Super Eagles only need to beat the Koreans 1-0 and hope Argentina do them a big favour by beating Greece to reach the Round of 16.
"We just have to step up our game and see that we win our next match against South Korea," said Nigeria assistant coach Daniel Amokachi.
"We still have every chance, the last game will say it all," added skipper Joseph Yobo.
"We are extremely disappointed with the sending off (of Kaita) and the loss. It played a big part in this game because before then we were a goal up and in control of the match. With a man short, they equalised and this affected us."
Former international Dahiru Sadi, who travelled 13 hours by bus from Richard's Bay to Bloemfontein for the match, said he expects a better attitude from the team against South Korea.
"I watched their training before the match and I told those around me that I was not very confident going into this game. They therefore need to change their attitude if they hope to get anything out of their last match against South Korea," said Sadi.
"Kaita's sending off was not good for the team, but we could still have won the game with 10 men. Yobo did not show his experience when he headed straight at an opponent inside the box, Yakubu should have scored in the second half, so too (Chinedu) Obasi and the defence did not react after (goalkeeper Vincent) Enyeama spilled the ball and from there Greece scored the winning goal."