Nigeria must learn from Confederations Cup exit, insists Keshi

The Super Eagles coach believes his side must build on their efforts in Brazil despite being firmly second-best to the likes of Spain in their group games

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi insists his side must learn from their experience at the Confederations Cup if they are to build a successful side for the future.

The Super Eagles were condemned to an early exit from the tournament after a 3-0 defeat to world and European champions Spain on Sunday, with Uruguay progressing to the semi-finals in their stead after their 2-1 win over the African champions last week.

While Keshi has acknowledged his side suffered from a succession of key injuries against stronger opposition, he believes the players must look at their exploits in Brazil as an important learning curve for the future.

"We lost the match because we played against a better side, a team that has been good for a very long time," he told a press conference after their defeat to Spain. "If you look at the game - three goals was not fair. But, this is football and it happens. 

"When you look at the other teams, they have their complete team, their first-team. In the last few matches we lost four or five key players and today we lost another key player at centre-half [Kenneth Omeruo], it was damaging. It's football, we have to live with it.

"It's a learning process for us, we just have to continue what we started tonight and build. This is a team that hardly ever goes down 2-0 and when put in that position, they lost the composure, the shape of the team. It was a major problem. In the first half we were very composed, but when we conceded the second goal in the second half, we became unprofessional. We need more experience.

"The teams and the coaches that I spoke with have been very educational for us. We're going back with some sort of education from this tournament."

Spain will now face Italy in the semi-finals, with Brazil meeting Uruguay after finishing top of their group, and Keshi was coy on who would be favourites should the hosts meet la Roja in the final.

"Well, I don't know all of world football. I'm learning," he said when asked if Spain were favourites for the trophy. "I can't say if Spain is better than Brazil. In this tournament, the best team doesn't always win. I can't put money on anyone."

Jordi Alba scored a rare double to help his side to the win in Fortaleza, but Keshi insists he was not surprised to see a defender make the difference in front of goal on the night.

"When I was playing I scored 10, 11 goals a season. Just because you're a defender doesn't mean you can't help your team make a difference up front. I've seen a lot of good defenders scoring goals," he added.