-Gernot Rohr: “Nigeria will get AFCON Ticket”-
Gernot Rohr, coach of Nigeria’s World Cup bound Super Eagles, has stated that his team will go all out for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ticket and get it. Nigeria lost 0-2 to South Africa in the first round of qualifying matches for the competition slated for June and July 2019 in Cameroon.
That loss currently places Nigeria in the third position of Group E. Libya leads that group after beating Seychelles 5-1, in the other match of that group. South Africa had never beaten Nigeria in a competitive match before that loss in June 2017 in Uyo, host city of Nigeria’s recent home games.
According to www.thenff.com, the 64-year old Coach Rohr said: “That match was a big wake–up call for us. Now that we have the World Cup ticket, we will go all out for the AFCON ticket and get it. When you have a team that has so much self–belief, a lot of things are possible. Age is but a number.
I feel young and able and willing to go on working with this group. I am very excited to be working with this team: a blend of the experienced and the young and ambitious ones. They are a delight to be with at all times, and I believe we are onto great things.”
Certainly, Coach Rohr’s coaching profile has been boosted by Nigeria’s qualification for next year’s World Cup under his guidance. With him in charge, Nigeria beat Zambia 2-1 in Ndola at the start of the World Cup race in October 2016, humbled Algeria 3-1 in Uyo in November 2016, bashed Cameroon 4-0 in September 2017 before being forced to a 1-1 draw in the return leg tie in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
The icing on the cake was last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat of Zambia in Uyo. Alex Iwobi scored Nigeria’s lone goal in the 73rd minute of the match, from a pass floated by Shehu Abdullahi who relentlessly prowled the flanks from his position in the team’s defence. That victory gave Nigeria Africa’s first ticket to next year’s World Cup.
Speaking on this feat, Coach Rohr said: “At the beginning of the qualifying series, many people said we were going to be chasing it. But we sat down together and we promised ourselves that we would go all out and get the ticket.”
Meanwhile, Africa’s soccer ruling body, CAF, has named Shehu Abdullahi and Victor Moses in the body’s best eleven players of Match Day 5. They are the only Nigerians in that squad that has a 4-4-2 formation.
Other players in that squad are Egypt’s duo of Mohammed Saleh and Ahmed Hegazy as well as Morocco’s trio of Khalid Boutaib, Mbark Bousoufa and Achraf Hakimi. Senegal’s Khadim N’diaye (goalkeeper) and Kalilou Koulibaly are also in that squad along with South Africa’s Percy Tau and Tunisia’s Youssef Msakni.
Shehu Abdullahi was earlier voted as man of the match in the encounter against Zambia.
- Cornelius Ellah
Please See Related Posts: