Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun, has opened up on the country’s failure to qualify for the ongoing 2022 World Cup in Qatar, APROKOVIBES Sports Extra reports.
The Eagles chances of taking part at football’s showpiece event were dented after playing a 1-1 draw with archrivals Ghana at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja during the qualifiers early this year.
A Thomas Party 10 minutes long range strike beat Francis Uzoho to put the Black Stars in commanding position before stand-in captain William Troost-Ekong equalised from the spot.
The three-time Africa champions however failed to score the all-important goal to secure a spot for the Mundial in Qatar leaving fans devastated.
Prior to the second leg in Abuja, the Eagles had travelled to Kumasi, where they played a goalless draw with the Black Stars.
While responding to questions during an interview with The Beautiful Game podcast, the Queens Park Rangers centre-back opened up on the team’s inability to overcome their perennial West African rivals in the race for the 2022 World Cup ticket.
Balogun said, “It’s the first leg, we did not score, that would have changed the whole picture probably.
“It’s a bit funny because that season the away goal-rule was scrapped everywhere. I don’t know why they didn’t do it in Africa. I have no clue, until this day, I don’t understand.
“We did go to Ghana to play that first leg and it was a tough game. There was this whole fuss about them changing the stadium last minute where they’ve never lost, and they said whether juju may or may not have been involved.
“It was really, really tough and we ended up playing 0-0. I remember we had a meeting one or two days after and one of the staff said we’re 70 per cent through and I thought to myself that can’t be right.
“We played a goalless draw away from home, if that’s helpful to anyone then it’s Ghana. We said we have to just pour our hearts out for that game.”
Balogun will hope to return to action when QPR host Burnley on Sunday in the Championship.