Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr surprised quite a few people by handing a starting shirt to the Rangers midfielder in the Super Eagles hard fought 2-1 victory over Benin but the German tactician has revealed why he went against his better judgement to field the 23-year-old.
The Super Eagles snatched a hard-fought, comeback win from the Squirrels on Wednesday evening at the Akwa Ibom Stadium in Uyo to begin their 2021 AFCON qualifying campaign on a positive note, Soccernet.ng reports.
Scotland-based Joe Aribo earned his first competitive cap for Nigeria in an encounter that saw the three-time African champions fall behind to an early Sessegnon strike following a Jamilu Collins slip up. However, two goals from Victor Osimhen – a late first half penalty – and Samuel Kalu – a sublime individual effort – turned the game around.
But answering a question posed by Soccernet’s Chief Editor, Joba Ogunwale at the post-match press conference, Gernot Rohr explained why he started Aribo after hinting before the game that the player would not be risked for the game due to travelling fatigue.
“Aribo told me he was not tired after a long flight, and I have confidence in my players when they tell me they are ready to play,” Rohr began.
“Also his father was here and this his (Aribo’s) second time coming into the country, so it was important for him to play.”
Joe Aribo only joined the Eagles camp a few hours before the Benin game, having starred and scored in Rangers 2-0 win at Livingston at the weekend.