WCQ: Nigeria missed Iwobi, Ndidi against Central African Republic – Rohr
The absences of Alex Iwobi and Wilfred Ndidi had an impact on Nigeria’s game against the Central African Republic in Thursday’s 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification encounter, according to the super eagles’ coach, Gernot Rohr.
Despite dominating ball possession against the Wild Beasts at Teslim Balogun Stadium, the Super Eagles were defeated 1-0 by Raoul Savoy’s men.
Both teams were separated by Karl Namnganda’s 90th-minute effort after the three-time African champions missed multiple scoring opportunities.
Despite his team’s dominance in ball possession, the German strategist admits that the absence of the England-based players – who were out owing to injury concerns – did not help matters.
“The players are still disappointed in the dressing room and still not understanding why we could lose this match,” Rohr told Goal.
“When we analyzed it, we dominated possession of the ball, we had several opportunities to score but we did not score, and very often in football, there was a counter and our opponents scored.
“Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, we lost. We had the opportunity to score but we couldn’t.
“We have to recover, and we have to make some changes in the team. We missed the creativity of Iwobi, we also missed Ndidi so much.
“It was not easy for [Frank] Onyeka and a first-timer [Taiwo] Awoniyi to come in this team.”
Notwithstanding the setback, the German is upbeat that his team will get the job done in the return leg to boost their chances of qualifying for the play-off round.
“Cape Verde were well organised but we are still ahead in the group and in three days’ time, I believe we will be able to win the match,” he continued.
“It will not be in Central Africa, it will be in Cameroon and on a very good pitch.
“Also, I think the fighting spirit of the team is still there. I hope in the next game, we will be luckier than today.
“There will be some changes. Already, there are some injuries and I don’t know if Kelechi [Iheanacho] is able to play because he had a knock.
“We have some players who are tired because they ran a lot and were fighting as always. This defeat will surely make their recovery more difficult.
“They will not sleep well tonight but we have to recover and prepare for Sunday’s game which we must win.”
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