Rohr explains selection in Eagles’ 0-2 loss to Madagascar
Coach Gernot Rohr has admitted that the Super Eagles need to work harder if they desired to go beyond the second round of the on-going Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) holding in Egypt.
Nigeria lost 0-2 to Madagascar in the last Group B match at the Alexandria Stadium on Sunday. The defeat pushed the Super Eagles to the second position with six points behind the Barea, who lead the group with seven points.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Rohr admitted that the Eagles lost to the Barea because they were the better side, adding that the first goal was a gift, which gave their opponents the confidence and made it difficult for Nigeria to score.
“What happened was that Madagascar was the better team today (on Sunday). We started with a gift, which we didn’t want. The goal was a wonderful gift for Madagascar and then we could not find a solution.
“We made five changes to allow some players rest because they have played so many matches this year, especially for Ndidi (Winfred) and Iwobi (Alex). And also we wanted to see the second goalkeeper since we had qualified for the second round,” he said, adding that it was normal to change the team from the 23 players that are available for selection because they all deserve to play.
“Our decision is to provide opportunities to other players so that they too can show what they can contribute to the team. I also tried to avoid more yellow cards to those who are already on cards in the team, and to avoid injuries.
“That is why the team of Madagascar was able to dominate the game with their fighting spirit and counter-attacking football and we were not able to even score one goal.
“So, that is why we have to work harder in our next match, which is more important and I think the players know we have to improve on many areas of our game in order to win the next match,” he stated