Super Eagles and Nottingham Forest defender, Ola Aina, has refrained from attributing Nigeria's performance against Equatorial Guinea to the heat in Ivory Coast.
Despite Iban Salvador opening the scoring for Juan Micha's Spanish-speaking side and Victor Osimhen leveling the scores, Jose Peseiro's team struggled with missed chances and a lack of clinical finishing, with the coach acknowledging the game's difficulty due to timing and weather conditions.
Aina, who played 83 minutes and had a near-goal opportunity before being substituted for Fenerbahçe's Bright Osayi-Samuel, emphasized that the heat should not be used as an excuse for the Super Eagles' performance at the Stade Olympique Ouattara.
In an interview, the former Chelsea full-back acknowledged the humid weather but insisted it was nothing extraordinary. "The weather was hot, but okay. I think everyone knows how to deal with the heat here. Maybe we got tired towards the end of the game, but that’s normal. The heat is not an excuse," stated the 27-year-old.
Aina also expressed the team's commitment to improving their clinical finishing as they face the hosts tomorrow afternoon, acknowledging the home advantage for Ivory Coast.