Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr praised the contributions of Enyimba winger Anayo Iwuala who made a cameo appearance for the Super Eagles in their 0-1 win away to Benin on Saturday.
The Enyimba FC winger was handed his national team debut by Rohr in the 81st minute of the Africa Cup of Nations qualification game and was introduced in place of Galatasaray winger Henry Onyekuru.
Iwuala made the most of his nine plus minutes on the pitch to show a glimpse of his highly revered potentials by followers of the Nigerian domestic league.
Rohr told www.aclsports.com that he is not afraid to give young and locally based players a chance in his team.
“He (Iwuala) had a good impact in the game,” Rohr told www.aclsports.com
“I’m not afraid to give a chance to young players and even to local players. I saw him already playing in Port Harcourt against Rivers (United) in a Confederation Cup game.
“I saw in the training that he has a lot of qualities and we wanted in the end some diversities in the side and Henry (Onyekuru) was a little bit tired and we are happy that such a young player can show something and he did well,” said the German handler.
Even before a ball was kicked on Saturday, Gernot Rohr’s men booked their place at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after Lesotho and Sierra Leone ended their tie 0-0 earlier on Saturday.
With the Southern Africans coming to Nigeria on Tuesday to be guests of Nigeria in Lagos, Rohr has another chance to even give more opportunities to Iwuala or any of the other two locally based players in the fold: Adekunle Adeleke and John Noble.