Eagles' assistant coach Sylvanus Okpala disclosed that the recent international friendly between Peru and Nigeria in Lima exposed the home-based players to big time football.
The former Nigerian international, submitted that it was the first time the boys drawn largely from the local league were having a go at a quality opposition like Peru rated 23rd in the world by FIFA. Coach Stephen Keshi since taking charge last November had used mostly home-based players to play international friendlies against African opposition.
He has won just one of those games. And that is against African Nations Cup champions Zambia, he drew with Botswana in a friendly in Kaduna and away to Rwanda in a nations cup qualifier and lost 3-2 to Egypt in Dubai.
"Peru was a valuable experience for the boys. It was the first time they were playing against a team that I would say are on the same level with Brazil.
"It was a game at the highest level and the boys gave it their best. They contested for every ball and that was pleasing to us coaches," said Okpala dubbed 'quick silver' during his playing days for his daring midfield runs.
He said also that the coaches themselves have learned a lot of lessons from the game and are working on improving on the team ahead of their competitive games starting this weekend with the World Cup qualifier against Namibia in Calabar.
The Eagles lost 1-0 to Peru, but they received the commendation of Peru coach, Sergio Markarin. He said that the has physical strength and technical abilities. He praised the team for keeping the scoreline low despite arrival late for the game.