Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has given his take on his team’s performance after booking a place in the last World Cup qualifying round following a 1-1 draw against Cape Verde in Lagos on Tuesday.
Nigeria fought tooth and nail to hang on to a point against the South African team as they joined nine other African countries in the play-off round.
The German tactician said it was not an easy game as he rued the chances missed by his team in the game.
“First of all, a draw can be like a victory, for today because we wanted to qualify and knew that a draw means qualification. It was not an easy game because Cape Verde are a good technical team and they scored in the moment we believed we had the match in our hands.
“But we missed a lot of chances in the first half especially, we deserve to score a second goal but it didn’t come so we had to defend and the players did it well.”
Gernot Rohr also talked about Odion Ighalo whom he forced out of retirement despite the option of younger and better strikers asking Nigerians to be patient with the Saudi-based striker.
“We need a little patience with Ighalo. He was not with us for more than one year and we need time to find the harmony and I think he did some interesting things with Osimhen who will grow and learn a lot.
“Now for the AFCON we can prepare, today was like a final, very special game so what we ask for is little patience, give us a little time to work on the two of them then the goals will come again.”
Rohr also talked about the improvement his team must make ahead of next year’s AFCON and the play-off in March.
”The improvement I want to see in my team is for them to exploit their scoring opportunities, to be more effective offensively.
“Also I want to see them play quicker from behind it’s still too slow from behind for me, I want to have quicker football with one, two touches, our central defenders still take much time to bring the ball forward, So we have to work on it, we had 13 points from six matches which is not bad.
“So after this group stage we can be optimistic, now we have the time to prepare for the AFCON, some of our players are coming back from injuries, Ndidi, Chukwueze. So let’s give our players time to be better.”