By John Essien
Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr has conceded that the absence of some key players in the squad was greatly felt following his team’s lacklustre performance against Central Africa Republic (CAR) in the 2022 World Cup qualifier at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on Thursday.
The three-time African champions were handed a shock 1-0 defeat in Lagos to end their 100 percent start to the World Cup qualifiers, with fans bitterly disappointed with the team’s performance.
Speaking during the post-match conference, Coach Rohr blamed the defeat on the dearth of a creative player in the squad as he quickly pointed at the absence of Everton’s Alex Iwobi.
Aside Iwobi, Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi and Watford’s Oghenekaro Etebo were also ruled out with different shades of injury.
“The game was a difficult one. We missed some players and we had to build a new midfield. The creativity of Alex Iwobi was missing in the game,” Rohr told journalists.
The Eagles will hope to get their revenge on the Wild Beast in a reverse fixture in Douala, Cameroon on Sunday and the German tactician has expressed optimism about his side’s chances in the next game.
“The defeat is a big knock on the head of everybody but we must find our winning spirit …we will go there in three days to win the game,” the former Girondins Bordeaux coach noted.
Meanwhile, Nigeria still lead Group C with six points after the other fixture saw Cape Verde edge Liberia 2-1 at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra, Ghana.
Rohr‘s men had performed below par despite parading stars against a country who are rated 123rd in the world and were purnished late into the game.
It was the Eagles’ first home defeat in a World Cup qualifier since 1981 when the team lost 2-0 at the National Stadium, Lagos to Algeria.