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Rohr counts positives from friendlies as Eagles set for AFCON qualifiers


Super Eagles lost 0-1 to Algeria and drew 1-1 with Tunisia in their build up to next month’s AFCON qualifier against Sierra Leone.<br />

While most Nigerians were left wondering where their beloved national team, the Super Eagles, were headed after two unflattering outings against Algeria and Tunisia in Austria, the team’s manager, Gernot Rohr is breathing easy, saying the team has given him enough reason to dream of big things.

Nigeria lost 0-1 to Algeria in the first match on Friday and managed a 1-1 draw with Tunisia on Tuesday. After the game, some analysts said the results were not as bad as the Eagles’ performances in the two games, adding that after almost five years, Rohr has not been able to give the country a team to be proud of.


However, despite the criticism, Rohr says all is well. The Super Eagles coach said after Tuesday’s game against Tunisia that matches have thrown up new players that would help build a solid team for Nigeria.

Rohr went into the two friendly matches with such regulars as Victor Osimhen, Wilfred Ndidi, Joe Aribo, Peter Etebo, and Francis Uzoho, but he had a closer look at Maduka Okoye, Kevin Akpoguma, Sanusi, Frank Onyeka, Chidera Ejuke, and Samson Tijani.

The former Bordeaux coach said the emergence of these new players has given a welcome headache in the selection, adding that he now has a better pool of players to choose from.

In a tweet posted by @ngsupereagles, Rohr said, “We are happy to have had this opportunity to be camped in Austria for 10 days. It was a very good feeling to be together again after being away for 11 months, although we missed some key players.


“The two friendly games we played were very good competitive games. Algeria and Tunisia are very good teams.

“Indeed, the results could have been better. We could have picked up a draw against Algeria and a win against Tunisia.

“We have some positives to pick out from the games because in spite of missing some key players we still competed well.

“Now, it is going to be difficult for me to pick our list for the Afcon qualifiers next month because of the new boys who did well.


“I believe these very good friendly games will help us to return to winning ways when we play Sierra Leone next month. Good results next month may see us qualifying for the 2022 Afcon already.”

Nigeria’s next challenge is a double-header African Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone next month.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has revealed that Super Eagles’ AFCON qualifiers will be played at the refurbished Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.

The game will serve as the official opening match of the stadium, which has been rebuilt by the Edo State government.

The stadium last hosted the senior national team in 2011 when Botswana came visiting with the late Stephen Keshi in charge as Super Eagles Head Coach.


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