Nigeria’s Super Eagles took to the Wiener Neustädter Stadion in Austria in an international friendly game on Friday against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, but ended up on the losing side, no thanks to a first-half strike from Fulham midfielder, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.
The solitary strike ended the Super Eagles’ three-game unbeaten run against the Cameroonians — a first defeat to the fellow West African nation under Gernot Rohr, who before the match had stated the game was like revenge mission for the Indomitable Lions.
Ahead of the Russia-hosted 2018 Fifa World Cup, the Super Eagles defeated Cameroon 4–0 and then followed it up with a 1–1 draw away at Yaounde, thereby, preventing them from qualifying for the World Cup. Rohr’s men’s then again defeated the 5-time African champions 3–2 at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, eventually knocking them out of the competition.
With Friday’s defeat and a repeat fixture on Tuesday, how important is victory over Cameroon and the team’s overall performance to head coach, Gernot Rohr?
ROHR BELIEVES SUPER EAGLES PERFORM BETTER WITH KEY PLAYERS
The German-tactician admitted after Friday’s defeat that his team had a poor all-around performance in the 1–0 defeat to Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions. He although lauded the quick adaptability of the non-regulars on their outing.
He said, “I saw interesting things, we had good aggressiveness. We had good integration of some new players; three of them played for the first time with the Super Eagles. We will see in the next game if they can be on our 23-man list, now there will be competition and it’s good to give them the chance and all the time we are happy to have young players.”
“These test matches are made to give other players a chance. Of course, I would prefer to play with my best team, to prepare them for the World Cup in the same conditions, but it was not possible because too many players could not come.”
“But it was an opportunity to see Moffi, he did well. Olayinka also had a good game on the right, at the end of the match. We also saw Marcus, he was good as well. Then there was Valentine who came in for Ekong in the end.”
ROHR REVEALS SOME THINGS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN RESULTS
Following the defeat, the 67-year-old made it known that he’s glad he gave the non-regulars a chance irrespective of the poor performance. it’s good to give them a chance, “Now there’ll be competition and it’s good to give them a chance and make all of them happy that they’re playing.” he said.
He also added that the final result was not so important to him, “The most important thing is not the result because it was just a test match,” Rohr said.
“The result is not the most important thing in a friendly, the most important thing is to learn, to see some interesting things, to test some new players and to see what we want to do in September for the World Cup qualifiers.”
ROHR HIGHLIGHTS DEFICIENCIES IN SUPER EAGLES
Speaking after the game, Rohr revealed that the team lacks urgency and domination. The attackers’ lacked the ability to convert chances — some of the major reasons they fell to Antonio Conceicao’s men on Friday evening.
“Our domination was not good enough because we had to score at the beginning of the game but we didn’t, and when you don’t score, you get punished.”
“I think we had 17 shots on the goal while Cameroon only had three, they had only one on target which was the goal, we had six on target.”
Rohr however, also believes that the outcome of the game has taught them a lesson.