Nigeria’s Gernot Rohr reflects on Russia 2018 exit

Nigeria’s Gernot Rohr reflects on Russia 2018 exit
Nigeria's coach Gernot Rohr reacts during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group D preliminary round soccer match between Nigeria and Argentina in St.Petersburg, Russia, 26 June 2018.

by Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Jun 27, 2018. 12:30

Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr has labelled his team’s exit from the 2018 World Cup as a “big disappointment”.

The Super Eagles crashed out of the tournament on Tuesday night when they were beaten 2-1 by Argentina in Saint Petersburg, a result which saw the South Americans join Group D winners Croatia in the last 16.

Nigeria effectively needed a draw to qualify for the next round and were holding ‘La Albiceleste’ 1-1 – with Victor Moses’ penalty early in the second half cancelling out Lionel Messi’s opener – before Marcos Rojo struck the decisive goal in the 86th minute.

Although German tactician Rohr said he was proud of his team’s efforts in Russia, he has expressed his displeasure at their failure to move to the knockout stages.

“It's a big disappointment, my team did the best, played a very good second half and are missing a few minutes to have qualified,” the Nigeria boss said in a post-match press conference.

“I am proud of my players. We played well in the second half, we are missing a bit of experience, we have a young team and I think these kind of matches are building the character of the team and in four years they will be very strong.”

On his future with the Super Eagles, Rohr added: "I would like to continue because I have a good feeling with this team.

“We have players who are very young doing well. It's a good cocktail of youth, passion and discipline. We have never had any problems.

“We lost the first game, worked very hard to be better in the second and they did so well that we hoped to come through against Argentina.

“Like you see, we miss a bit of experience in the last minutes, but this is building the character and we will learn and be better in the next cup – the AFCON [Africa Cup of Nations] – and I hope we will do well in this competition.”

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