Nigeria was paid “the hard way” for underrating the Central African Republic, according to coach Raoul Savoy.
The Wild Beasts pulled off a shock 1-0 triumph over the three-time African champions in Thursday’s 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier staged at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Despite boasting superior ball possession and numerous scoring chances, Gernot Rohr’s men were stunned by super-sub Karl Namnganda, who profited from a moment of carelessness by William Troost-Ekong’s backline.
With this result, the Central African country has earned their first win in Group C en route to Qatar 2022.
For Savoy, the result was their own way of repaying the 2013 African champions for underestimating them before the showdown in Lagos.
“Nigeria are one of the best teams in Africa and when you look at the quality of players they parade,” the Spanish-Swiss tactician told Goal.
“They believed that they had already won the game and even before kick-off, it was everywhere that they will defeat the Central African Republic.
“We showed some respect and we made them pay the hard way for underrating us.
“We were not given any chance by Nigeria and to be honest with you this is a very great result for us.”
When asked about the masterstroke he adopted to down Rohr’s team, the 48-year-old said: “I’m very happy because we put a plan and a strategy, and it worked.
“Most of the players that played were young. Even the scorer [Karl Namnganda] was making his second appearance for the country.
“When you put up a young team like this and they listen to instructions, play their hearts out, they can beat anyone.”
The return leg takes place in Cameroon on Sunday and Savoy – who is already looking forward to the fixture – suggested some of the changes to expect.
“The game in Douala will be another story but for now, we have to enjoy this moment first and touch down in Cameroon on time to start preparations on time,” he added.
“We had some players who didn’t play [on Thursday] because of injuries or visa problems, and that is why we will have a different team in the return leg.”
Notwithstanding the setback, Nigeria still lead Group C having accrued six points from three matches.