4 September 2016
Gernot Rohr on Saturday secured his first win as Super Eagles Technical Adviser as the team defeated Tanzania by a lone goal in a qualifying match for the AFCON 2017.
The encounter played at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium was a “dead rubber’’ as both team had lost out in the qualifying series.
Manchester City’s forward, Kelechi Iheanacho, netted the only goal of the match in the 78th minute with a brilliant volley to give the tactician a bright start to his coaching career in Nigeria.
The Eagles and their Tanzanian counterparts failed to qualify for the competition after Egypt picked the sole qualification ticket from Group G.
Chad, the other team in the group had withdrawn from the qualifiers over financial difficulties.
Rohr used the encounter as a test match for the Super Eagles’ 2018 World Cup qualifying match against Zambia coming up on October 3.
Cameroon and Algeria are the other teams drawn alongside Nigeria and Zambia in Group B of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
In a post-match interview, Rohr, said his priority would be to build a formidable team and qualify for the 2018 World Cup scheduled for Russia in 2018.
He observed that Nigeria was blessed with good players that could be trained to do well and qualify for the World Cup.
“We want to build a team with a good defence, a good spirit; who can win games.
“Today, we had a Tanzania team with a very good goalkeeper and there was need for patience, the players had to wait for the good moment to score the goal.
“So, they did it, and I am happy for them for the staff and Nigerian people,” he said.
Rohr praised the Tanzanian goalkeeper, Aishi Manula for saving several scoring chances, noting that the Super Eagles missed 12 scoring chances in the match.
“Now we can prepare; the big challenge is to go for the world cup in Russia,” he said.
Super Eagles Captain, Mikel Obi, commended fans for the amazing support given to the team because it inspired them to victory.
He said that the team needed more of such support when they play the World Cup qualifying matches and assured that the team would continue to do well.
Tanzania’s coach, Charles Nkwasa, said their aim was to play good football and prove a point.
“We knew that we were out of AFCON 2017. But, our objective was to play good football.
“We use this opportunity to congratulate the Super Eagles for the win. It was very difficult for the Eagles to win.
“So, this is the way, this is our new team that we are trying to build,” he said.
Nkwasa praised his team for giving a good account of themselves and assured that they would continue to play as well.
Elsewhere, Ethiopia kept their faint qualifying hopes for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations alive after a 2-1 defeat of Seychelles in Addis.
The win in both sides’ final Group J qualifiers takes Ethiopia to 11 points and leaving them with an outside chance of qualifying as a best runner-up.
The two best runners-up will join 13 group winners at the finals in Gabon.
Algeria, who finish their campaign against Lesotho on Sunday, has already qualified from the group, with 13 points, while Seychelles could only muster four, a point more than Lesotho.