Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has said they were edged out of CHAN by Ghana as a result of anxiety on the part of the players.
Debutantes Nigeria lost the CHAN semi-final to Ghana after a penalty shootout when there were no goals in normal and extra time.
“There was so much anxiety because the players wanted to do so much,” lamented Stephen Keshi.
“We wish to thank Nigerians for their prayers and support for this team.”
Substitute Joshua Obaje told MTNFootball.com they were unlucky not to go through to the final against Libya this weekend.
“We were just unlucky not to beat Ghana. We didn’t deserve to lose the game, we put in our best, did all but we couldn’t score and lost through penalties,” Obaje said.
“All the same, we hope to improve for our next game.”
However, Nigeria may be missing several players for their next game after they suffered serious injuries against the very physical Black Stars.
Rabiu Ali, Solomon Kwambe and Kunle Odunlami are all on the treatment table.
Meanwhile, a $100,000 bonus promised them by the sports ministry if they defeated Ghana will still be paid to them.
Sports minister Bolaji Abdullahi confirmed the payment, saying Nigerians should continue to support the team.
Nigeria will now play the third-placed match against Zimbabwe on Saturday in Cape Town.