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Our inexperience killed us, says Rohr


Nigeria’s German coach Gernot Rohr watches his players during a training session at Essentuki Arena in southern Russia on June 23, 2018, during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

Super Eagles’ Coach, Gernot Rohr believes his team would have advanced to the second round of the on-going Russia 2018 World Cup if his players were more experienced in big games like the one they played against Argentina on Tuesday.

Argentina scored an 86th minute goal to deny the Eagles a berth into the second round of the tournament. But Rohr said his boys would have been the winners if they knew how to see off a game.

“We were very fantastic and just within a few minutes of going through we lost because we lacked the big match experience. Most of the Argentines are Champions League stars, who know how to exert pressure to get a desired result. We had players who had not played in big league and it showed. But my consolation is that this team has the potential to grow into a strong squad.”On the controversial handball that was not awarded his side, Rohr said he did not see the incident, adding, however, that the replay showed it was a foul inside the box.

Rohr defended his choice of Brian Idowu over Tyrone Ebuehi in the left back position, saying the St. Petersburg-born Idowu had more experience than Ebuehi.He added: “We had a Lionel Messi playing from the right hand side with his left foot, so we needed a player who could defend with his right leg. Idowu for now is a better than Ebuehi, who is more attack oriented.”

On his future, Rohr said he has a set of young players, who would become great players given the right tutelage. But he shied away from saying outright whether he would stick with the team or not. The Franco-German recently signed an additional two-year extension to his current contract.

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