Though hugely disappointed that his team could not get into the final of the Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Egypt 2019, Nigeria’s head coach Gernot Rohr has chosen to look at the positives, believing his young side will learn from their experiences and misgivings.
The Super Eagles lost 2-1 to Algeria in a tightly contested semi-final in Cairo ON Sunday night, conceding a late Riyad Mahrez masterpiece of a freekick.
“I think this team has come a long way after making a good world cup. We can be proud of our performances,” said Rohr who led the Eagles to an AFCON return for the first time since they won the title in 2013.
The tactician stated that the main difference between them and Algeria in the semis was the experience.
“We have to work more and we have to learn with this young team. I think sometimes a little bit of experience cost us in the game especially because our midfielders Etebo (Paul) and Ndidi (Wilfred) are very young,”
“They need to learn better in terms of communicating and pressing the game. These are lessons that we take home and I am sure we will be better. I started this journey when I was appointed to rebuild with young players and we have come from a long way,” the German tactician further stated.
Looking back at the tie, Rohr was dejected that they could not respond to Algeria’s tactical pressing, saying they made a better second half but were unlucky not to see the game go into extra time.
“It was a great fight until the last minute. Algeria had a better first half than us but we came back in the second half. We thought Algeria could be tired in extra time and we could win it. We are sad that we lost of course, but congratulations to Algeria. We won the last game against South Africa late and today we lost late. That is football,” the tactician further added.
Nigeria will now shift their focus to Wednesday evening’s third and fourth place play-off match against Tunisia at Al Salam Stadium and Rohr hopes in the least, his players will go back home with a medal around their necks.