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Garba Lawal blames Super Eagles loss on poor tactics


As more Nigerians react to the Super Eagles loss to the Desert Foxes of Algeria in Sunday’s semi-final, ex-international Garba Lawal has attributed it to poor tactics by the players.

Lawal told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Monday that though the loss was painful, but the Algerians were better than the Super Eagles.

“The Algerians were tactically sound than the Super Eagles, though, they created a lot of chances, which they failed to convert, therefore, they deserve to win and we hope they will win their next match.

Reacting also, the Kaduna State Football Association Chairman, Sherref Alkassim, said the loss was painful but the Super Eagles need to work hard for a better outing against Tunisia.


“The loss was painful even though we lost to a better side, but the Super Eagles need to be more serious and bring back a bronze medal which is not bad for us.

“I commend them for the performance displayed, but the coach should do more because Tunisia are also a good side.

Vincent Akinbami, a sport analyst, said that from the first two matches played by the Super Eagles in the Nations cup, it was clear that they did not understand each other and also lacked particular culture of attack.

“It was all straight passes and no decoy runs, which made breaking opponents defence difficult in spite of the quality of individual players.

“Against Algeria, there was no difference, we were relying on individual effort to break the Algerians defence, but they were more tactical with quick passes, short and long kicks coupled with good runs off and on the ball.

“Give it to some of our players too, they did so well, but you can not give what you don’t have as a team.

“Overall, it can be said that Coach Gernot Rohr did not build the players as a team, the little they were able to achieve was as a result of understanding they built among themselves during the AFCON matches.

“I therefore, want to suggest that the players should be kept together, while Rhor be sacked, and if we must go for a foreign coach, it should be a world-class coach with a big name or we settle for a local coach if we cannot get a big name coach abroad,” he said.

Another analyst, Jide Bodunde, said that the better side won.

“Algeria have been the best team at this AFCON. Prior to the semi-final clash, they have scored 10 goals and conceded only one. When you add the two against the Super Eagles, it brings it to twelve.

“For the Super Eagles, there’s no shame losing to the best team of the tournament.

“Maybe if the Super Eagles had put up an impressive performance, it would have stretched into extra time and possibly penalties,” he told NAN.

“I don’t want to criticise the Nigerian coach, Gernot Rohr, but I think he got his substitution wrong by replacing Samuel Chukwueze with Henry Onyekuru, who hasn’t played a single minute before the semi-final.

“Moses Simon, who has produced two assists so far would have been the perfect replacement, but overall, it was not a bad outing as we still have the third place to play for against Tunisia on Wednesday.

A soccer fan, Mohammed Safiyanu, said that the semi-final match shows that the coach is not a tournament coach.

“As it was at the World Cup, this coach is not any way better than our local coaches.

“To qualify for a tournament is different from playing the tournament proper. This coach has nothing to offer to Nigeria football, he is too quiet to be a coach.

“With all the arrays of stars at his disposal, he still finds it difficult to give us a good representation at tournaments, in my opinion, he should be sacked.

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