The Super Eagles disappointingly suffered a defeat against Algeria and managed a draw versus Tunisia, but new players provided a slight ray of positivity after impressing on the international debuts
Technical Adviser of the Nigerian national team, Gernot Rohr, admits that the Super Eagles could have earned better results when they faced Algeria and Tunisia over the last five days.
But the former Gabon head coach is upbeat that his team competed well against the North African giants and he is pleased that Nigerian debutants gave a good account of themselves in those two international matches.
Rohr handed Super Eagles debuts to as many as six stars including former German youth international and Hoffenheim defender Kevin Akpoguma and Belgian-born Genk forward, Cyriel Dessers.
Other stars who featured for the first time for Nigeria’s senior team were Porto’s Zaidu Sanusi, Mydtjylland’s Frank Onyeka, Salzburg’s Samson Tijani, and CSKA’s Chidera Ejuke.
Sanusi excelled at full-back, Akpoguma showed his versatility at full-back and centre-back, while Ejuke caught the eye in a cameo showing on Tuesday night.
Rohr expects the new boys to push regular stars for spots in the Super Eagles and the German tactician confesses that they will give him selection headaches when preparing the list for November games against Sierra Leone.
“Indeed, the results could have been better. We could have picked a draw against Algeria and a win against Tunisia,” Rohr told the Super Eagles Media team.
“We have some positives to pick out from the games because in spite of missing some key players we still competed well.
“Now it is going to be difficult for me to pick our list for the AFCON qualifiers next month because of the new boys who did well.
“I believe these very good friendly games will help us to return to winning ways when we play Sierra Leone next month(home and away). Good results next month may see us qualifying for the 2022 AFCON already.”
Only the quartet of Dele Alampasu, Mathew Yakubu, Ola Aina and Tobias Lawal did not play in the two matches played in Austria of the 26 players invited by Rohr.