Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has bemoaned his side’s inability to make proper use of the ball in their shock 0-2 loss to Madagascar in Alexandria on Sunday.
One goal in each half condemned Nigeria to defeat in their final Group By game decided at the Alexandria Stadium on Sunday, a result which meant Rohr’s men finished second in the group.
Speaking after the game, Rohr said his side had more of the ball but were slow on the day.
“For the team today, we had the ball, we had the possession of the ball, but it was not really good football, it was slow and we missed the fighting spirit,” Rohr said after the game.
The Franco-German further suggested that his players might have grown complacent with their qualification status before the game.
“You know, when a team has already qualified, in the mind they (the players) play of course to win but they don’t have the desire that I saw in the Madagascar team.”
He also gave an explanation to some of his choices before the game.
“You know that I wanted to give more rest to five of our players and that’s what we did. I didn’t want to lose more players to injuries or card suspension,” said Rohr.
Nigeria’s Round of 16 game will come up at 5pm (Nigerian time) on Saturday at the Alexandria Stadium against the second placed side in Group F (likely to be Ghana). The winner of the game will likely face hosts Egypt in the quarter final.