Nigeria suffered heartbreak on Sunday as the Desert Foxes edged a thrilling encounter to dash the title hopes of the three-time champions.
A superb free kick from Manchester City’s Riyadh Mahrez with only seconds left of regulation time put the Algerians ahead after Ighalo had scored from the penalty spot to cancel out a Troost-Ekong own goal.
Gernot Rohr has the difficult task of lifting his players after a devastating night.
The Nigeria coach knows his players are still developing despite losing to a moment of quality.
“I have a young team that will continue to improve and one that will surely get better. We are sad that we lost.
“In my players’ mind, they were already thinking about extra time, but we lost in the last minute to a wonderful free-kick scored by a special player, ” Rohr told a news conference after the game.
The Super Eagles outsmarted South Africa in the quarterfinal but found the North Africans a hill too slippery to climb.
“Against South Africa, we scored late to win the game, today we conceded late. These things happen in football. I want to congratulate the Algerian team for winning the game and proceeding to the final.
“They played better in the first half and made things difficult for us. We conceded an own goal which was difficult to take,” said Rohr.
The German is however convinced that signs shown in the second half point to a bright future awaiting his players.
“We had a good second half and scored a goal from the spot. We have shown strong character by coming back from difficult situation in this tournament and we did the same against Algeria.
“We have leant a lot from this experience and will do better in future. This team is young but will get better.”