Crotone and Libya midfielder Ahmad Benali has blamed their 0-4 loss to Nigeria on bad officiating insisting that they were twice denied genuine penalty claims with scores at 1-0 in favour of Nigeria.
The former England U17 ace was on for the entire duration of the game and his header brought out a smart save from Nigerian goalkeeper Francis Uzoho to deny him the chance to draw his side level after Odion Ighalo has put Nigeria ahead.
However Benali insist they had two genuine claims for a penalty, one of which he claimed off the hand of a Nigerian defender and the second according to him was when he was tripped in the box. Both appeals were waved away by the centre referee.
Shortly after the game, Benali told reporters that his side could easily have made life difficult for Nigeria if they were awarded one of the penalty appeals particularly as it would have seen them draw level not long after Nigeria went ahead.
” Not once but twice we appealed for what looked a good call for penalty. A handball and a foul in the box on me. You get some, you don’t get some but we believe we had a real case yesterday to be given one of the two especially as Nigeria were also given one”, he said.
” A goal to bring scores to 1-1 would have deflated Nigeria but it didn’t happen and they won at the end. We hope to do well on Tuesday. Hopefully the lapses noticed would be corrected by our technical crew before our next game”, he remarked.