Head coach of Nigeria’s senior national team, Gernot Rohr believes that scoring two goals in the first half helped his side produce a good brand of football against Liberia on Friday evening.
The Super Eagles opened their qualifying campaign for next year’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 with a routine 2-0 win over the Lone Stars at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
England based forward Kelechi Iheanacho scored both goals (both assisted by Alex Iwobi) on a very difficult turf after it rained torrentially for many hours on match day in Lagos.
Rohr believes his team played some good football in the second half, aided by the two-goal cushion they built from the first half.
“We scored our two goals in the first half already so we were calm and we could play our good football in the second half without scoring a goal but for many moments, it was good football in difficult conditions because after the heavy rain.
“The pitch was not easy to play for the two teams but we adapted in these circumstances to claim the victory which is important to start these World Cup qualifiers,” said the German after Friday’s game.
Rohr faces arguably his toughest task since taking the Nigerian job five years ago when he leads out a weakened side to Cape Verde in a second group game on Tuesday. The team could be without as much as nine players due to the United Kingdom Covid-19 regulations.
“Nine players are leaving (for England), it is all the team so there will be another team (for Tuesday). It is not easy to build another team in only two days and to play on a synthetic pitch, it is the other side of two extreme situations.
“We are coming from a very heavy grass after the raining through a dry synthetic pitch so other conditions and other team. It will not be easy.
“It is a challenge for the staff and for the players but we have to show our solidarity and manage this situation. I am believing that our team is able to bring another good performance even if we know that it is more difficult than the game today.”
Nigeria lead the group with three points after Friday’s win with Cape Verde and Central Africa Republic having one point apiece.