Leon Balogun (left) in action against Algeriain Uyo
Thursday Nov 16, 2017. 14:30
Despite beating Argentina 4-2 on Tuesday in an international friendly, Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr says his defender Leon Balogun struggled because of fitness issues.
Balogun failed to assert himself during the course of the game, particularly in the first half where he failed to function properly.
Resulting from his under par showing, he was substituted in the second half for Kenneth Omeruo just when many thought he was finally getting back to his best.
”He wasn’t properly fit for the game. As a matter of fact he was passed fit the morning before yesterday’s game,” one of the assistants of the coach told Owngoalnigeria.com.
“We should be praising him for playing through the pain barrier in the game.
”Everybody is aware of what Balogun brings, so yesterday was particularly difficult because he wasn’t really fit for the game, and the collision with Ola Aina early in the game further compounded his poor state.
”We feared the worst when he went down particularly considering the fact that he just returned from a cheek surgery but thankfully it wasn’t as bad as initially feared. He is still one of our best defenders.“