After an uxpected end to their 2021 Afcon cmapign, Nigerian national football, the Super Eagles, on Tuesday returned home from Cameroon.

The three-time champions were tagged as the “favorites” to win the competition until they were defeated 0-1 by Tunisia in the Round of 16 fixture of the tournament.

The team, which returned via a chartered flight, landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja at 10 a.m. local time and was received by officials of the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF). The aircraft then headed to Lagos to drop off a few other players and team officials.

NFF general secretary Mohammed Sanusi showered encomiums on the team for the impressive performance exhibited in the four matches played at the tournament before their sudden exit on Sunday.

Nigeria had emerged the leader of Group D in the early stage of the competition, beating Egypt, Sudan and Guinea Bissau, to earn the maximum nine points to qualify for the Round of 16.

While addressing the team upon arrival in Abuja, Sanusi said it was now time to look ahead to the task of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

“You have tried your best. It was just unfortunate that you failed to reach the final. But, right now, what is left is the unfinished business of qualification for Qatar 2022. We should put behind us 2021 AFCON, and start preparing for the final qualifiers,” the FA’s scribe said.

Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa told reporters that the team had put behind its woes and disappointment of not achieving its aim at the continental competition.

“We are now looking forward to the World Cup qualifiers against Ghana’s Black Stars in March,” Musa said.

Meanwhile, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has called for more support for the Super Eagles, saying that although the team did not live up to expectations in the tournament, both officials and players deserve commendation for the tough fight they put up.

“They gave everyone the confidence that they were up to it, and I am sure it was something they could have achieved. Nonetheless, we should not write them off,” Buhari said in a statement.

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