Rohr Replaces Idowu With Anaemena As Eagles Prepare For Squirrels

World Cup: Gernot Rohr Says Russians Will Support Nigeria
A file photo of Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

 

Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has called up Enyimba FC defender, Ifeanyi Anaemena, to the team’s camp.

This comes as the team prepare to open their 2021 AFCON qualifying campaign against Benin Republic’s Squirrels on Wednesday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

Anaemena will also be part of the squad for the Day Two clash with Lesotho in Maseru on Sunday next week.

But Russia-based left-back, Bryan Idowu, who submitted his international passport for renewal will not be available because the document is not ready for him to travel to Nigeria for the encounter.

In October, Anaemena was impressive for the Eagles team B in their 2020 African Nations Championship qualifier against Togo at the Agege Stadium.

He has also been a key player for Enyimba, two-time CAF Champions League winners, as they reached the group phase of this year’s CAF Confederation Cup competition.

Captain Ahmed Musa and 13 other players arrived at the Eagles’ Ibom Meridien Hotel and Resorts on Monday while the remaining nine squad members re expected on Tuesday morning.

The 14 who trained on Monday evening are Musa, goalkeepers – Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi and Maduka Okoye; defenders – Kenneth Omeruo, Chidozie Awaziem, Olaoluwa Aina, Jamilu Collins and Oluwasemilogo Ajayi; midfielders – Alex Iwobi, Ramon Azeez and Wilfred Ndidi; and forwards – Samuel Kalu and Victor Osimhen.

Those arriving on Tuesday morning are defenders William Ekong, Anaemena, and Abdullahi Shehu; midfielders Mikel Agu and Joseph Ayodele-Aribo; as well as forwards Moses Simon, Samuel Chukwueze, Paul Onuachu, and Emmanuel Dennis.

Ayodele-Aribo, who plays for Glasgow Rangers in Scotland, has scored in the Eagles’ last two games – against Ukraine (2-2) and Brazil (1-1) – incidentally the only two matches he has played for Nigeria.

The Super Eagles will train at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Tuesday evening before their match with the Benin Republic on Wednesday.

Rohr Invites Players For 2021 AFCON Qualifiers

 

Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr has selected his squad for next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against the Benin Republic and Lesotho.

Captain Ahmed Musa is making a return from injury and midfielder Ramon Azeez has been retained after seeing action in 1-1 draw international friendly match with five-time world champions Brazil in Singapore.

Goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi is called for the first time since the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt this year summer – first choice Francis Uzoho is out for several months after his horrific injury against Brazil – and defender Kenneth Omeruo is also back, while there is another opportunity for midfielder Mikel Agu to justify his place in the team.

READ ALSO: Cameroon Football Legend Eto’o Rules Out Career In Politics

France-based utility player Samuel Kalu returns after missing the prestige friendly game against Brazil. Stoke City’s Oghenekaro Etebo is on standby as a result of his injury and is being monitored.

Nigeria, who won bronze in Egypt will open their campaign for a place in Cameroon 2021 against the Squirrels of Benin Republic at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Wednesday, 13th November. When that is done, the team will travel to Maseru to play the Crocodiles of Lesotho on Sunday, 17th November.

23 EAGLES TO BATTLE BENIN REPUBLIC & LESOTHO

Goalkeepers: Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)

Defenders: Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (CD Leganes, Spain); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion, England); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia)

Midfielders: Alexander Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Joseph Ayodele-Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Ramon Azeez (Granada FC, Spain)

Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France); Moses Simon (FC Nantes, France); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain); Paul Onuachu (KRC Genk, Belgium); Emmanuel Dennis (Club Brugge, Belgium); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France);

Standby: Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Peter Olayinka (SK Slavia Prague, Czech Republic); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City, England)

Draw With Brazil Is Huge Boost For Super Eagles, Says Rohr

Brazil’s forward Gabriel Jesus fights for the ball during an international friendly football match between Brazil and Nigeria at the National Stadium in Singapore on October 13, 2019. Roslan RAHMAN / AFP

 

Super Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has praised his team for putting up a good performance in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Brazil in a friendly match in Singapore.

Five-time world champions Brazil had to dig deep before securing the equalizer as the Super Eagles had them chasing the ball in the first half following Joseph Ayodele-Aribo’s 35th-minute goal.

“This result is a good confidence booster for the team. We now have to prepare for the more competitive games next month.

“I am happy we stayed organized even when the Brazilians mounted a lot of pressure on us in the second half. The only negative thing is the injury to Francis Uzoho,” the Franco-German said.

READ ALSO: Turkey Defends Footballers Saluting Soldiers Involved In Syria Operation

Aribo’s goal, his second in a second appearance for the Super Eagles, was a clinical finish as he received a pass from Moses Simon and then maneuvered his way through a number of Brazilian legs to shoot past goalkeeper Ederson.

Brazil drew level three minutes into the second half through Casemiro. And despite several attacks from the Samba Boys, the three-time African champions stayed strong and could have won it if Aribo and Samuel Chukwueze had converted late chances.

The team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran has confirmed that goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, who horribly twisted his leg as he went for the ball from a corner kick, will be out for about six months,

Nigeria host Benin Republic on 14th November in the opening day of the 2021 AFCON qualifying campaign. On 19th November, they will take Lesotho for a matchday two action.

Gernot Rohr’s Mother Dies At 97

A file photo of Super Eagles Head Coach, Gernot Rohr, and his mother, Elizabeth. Photo: [email protected]

 

 

The mother of Super Eagles Head Coach, Gernot Rohr, is dead.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced this in a tweet on Thursday.

According to the nation’s football governing body, Rohr’s mother, Elizabeth, died at the age of 97.

It, however, did not say when and where she died.

NFF condoled with the Super Eagles Head Coach and prayed that the soul of the departed rests in peace.

See the tweet below:

Rohr Insists Future Is Bright For Youthful Nigeria

Nigerian Coach Gernot Rohr.                                                                        PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

 

Gernot Rohr believes Nigeria will be stronger for their experience at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations after his side suffered a painful, last-gasp defeat to Algeria in the semi-finals.

Nigeria looked to be heading into extra-time against a team that required penalties to overcome Ivory Coast just three days earlier, but Riyad Mahrez won the game for Algeria in the 95th minute with a magnificent free-kick.

Coach Rohr said the loss was “tough to digest” for his players but stressed the current crop of Super Eagles had the potential to become “very good” given time.

“Our team is progressing well after the World Cup which wasn’t bad, we’ve started work with a rejuvenated team. This team has a future. I’m still under contract for another year and we’ll see what happens after that,” said the German, whose side was the youngest in Russia last summer.

Nigeria will meet Tunisia on Wednesday in the third-place play-off at Al-Salam Stadium, which could see the likes of youngsters Henry Onyekuru, Samuel Kalu and Victor Osimhen given a chance after limited minutes in Egypt.

“We will draw lessons after the third-place match. We have a very young team, we’re making progress and perhaps we lacked a bit of clear-sightedness (against Algeria) but we’re moving forward,” continued Rohr.

“We have to work much more. Our midfield is the youngest one. (Wilfred) Ndidi, (Alex) Iwobi and (Peter) Etebo have to learn tactically and they have to make better communication, but I think with time they’ll be very good.”

Rohr praised the resilience shown by his side throughout the tournament, as they responded to a shock loss to Madagascar by toppling defending champions Cameroon and beating South Africa before coming from behind against Algeria.

“I congratulate my players for a big fight against this very good team,” said Rohr. “It was a big fight until the last minute.”

“It was a wonderful match, but we lost it so we are not happy. We scored an own goal which was unlucky but we came back like throughout the tournament when there was something difficult against us. A wonderful free-kick made the difference.”

He added: “The other day we won in the last minute against South Africa, this time we lost. That’s football.”

The former Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso boss also praised the work done by Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi, who took over last year after the Desert Foxes finished bottom of their 2018 World Cup qualifying group.

“The result reflects what we saw on the pitch. The best team won,” said Rohr.

“The match confirms what I said about them making progress. They have made strides both tactically and technically and it’s going to be very tight with Senegal but Algeria have all the weapons to win.”

AFP

AFCON 2019: Algeria Deserved Semi-Final Win, Says Rohr

FILE PHOTO: Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr gestures as he speaks during a press conference at the Yessentuki Arena, in Yessentuki, in southern Russia, on June 13, 2018. PHOTO: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

 

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr said Algeria were worthy winners after Riyad Mahrez’s last-gasp free-kick sent his team through to a first Africa Cup of Nations final in 29 years.

Manchester City winger Mahrez fired in from 20 yards with the last kick of the game in Cairo to clinch a 2-1 victory after Nigeria forward Odion Ighalo had canceled out a first-half own goal by William Troost-Ekong.

“It was a big fight until the last minute. Algeria did better in the first half than us but we came back in the second half and we conceded this goal in the last minute,” said Rohr.

READ ALSO: Algeria Defeat Nigeria To Enter AFCON Finals

“I think the players wanted to go to extra time and believed Algeria would be tired and they could win in it extra time.”

“I have to congratulate the players for a big fight against this very good team. They won it in the last minute and they deserved it,” he added.

Rohr again lauded the resilience of his team, which bounced back strongly to a shock loss to Madagascar by eliminating holders Cameroon and beating South Africa, but they had no time to respond to a stroke of genius from Mahrez.

“It was a wonderful match, but we lost it so we are not happy. We scored an own goal which was unlucky but we came back like throughout the tournament when there was something difficult against us,” he said.

“A wonderful free-kick made the difference.”

AFP

AFCON 2019: We Don’t Fear Nigeria, Says South Africa Coach

South Africa’s coach Stuart Baxter attends a press conference at the Cairo International stadium in the capital, on July 5, 2019, on the eve of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) top 16 match between Egypt and South Africa. PHOTO: OZAN KOSE / AFP

 

South Africa coach Stuart Baxter says his team is not afraid of Nigeria’s Super Eagles.

“We’ll be respecting Nigeria but not fearing them. We will have to produce a very good South Africa performance to beat them,” he said.

He also dismissed the assertion from his Nigeria counterpart Gernot Rohr that Bafana Bafana is the favourites heading into Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final showdown.

Baxter’s side shocked tournament hosts Egypt in the last 16 having only scraped through the group stage, but he was quick to temper expectations against a Nigeria team that eliminated defending champions Cameroon in the last round.

“Nigeria are absolutely one of the best teams on the continent and have been for a long time. One game doesn’t make us favourites. I don’t think he’s (Rohr) fooling anybody,” Baxter told reporters Tuesday.

“When we hit a balance between good organisation and getting on the ball and playing with pace and using our natural inherent technique we can give anybody a game.”

The two are teams are familiar opponents as South Africa and Nigeria were paired together in qualifying. Baxter oversaw a 2-0 away win in Uyo at the start of the campaign before a 1-1 draw in Johannesburg.

South Africa’s shock 1-0 defeat of Egypt was played in front of a capacity 75,000 crowd at Cairo International Stadium, and although a much lower attendance is anticipated at the same venue Wednesday, Baxter doesn’t believe that will have an impact on his players.

“Dare I say the crowds in South Africa for some international matches are quite sparse as well,” he said. “The players were inspired by the crowd the other evening, but I hope they don’t need that sort of crowd to find that sort of inspiration.

“This is special now, you’re getting to the sharp end of the stick and it’s people that think like winners who will end up winning to the tournament.

“I think we know we’ve got a tough opponent. I think we know we’ve got to be completely focused and I think we understand that it is going to take all the mental energy we can muster and not be dependent on getting up because the crowd is up.”

AFP

AFCON 2019: Super Eagles Need A More Vocal, Active Coach – Odegbami

 

Former Green Eagles Captain, Segun Odegbami, has faulted the performance of Gernot Rohr as the Super Eagles coach, noting that he is ‘too relaxed’.

Odegbami disclosed this during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme. He added that Nigerian players need someone who they can hear his voice encouraging and directing them while playing on the field.

READ ALSO: Super Eagles Drop Three Spots In Latest FIFA Ranking

“If I was in charge of Nigeria football, Gernot Rohr would have been on his way home. I’m sorry that is a bit harsh, but you could see how he selected players, particularly in that match against Madagascar. We could have been out of this competition now, because of his selection of players for that match.

“See coaches like Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho, they are the 12th player. They are by the side of the field, they are directing their players. They are shouting on referees, they are doing things. That is the sort of thing Nigerian players need.

“Nigerian players don’t want somebody who will just sit quietly and not say a word. They won’t hear his voice. You won’t help them with difficulty.

“Our nature is to be loud, to be compelled and driven to the wall. Our nature is not to just relax,” he said.

Madagascar football team weeks ago defeated Super Eagles of Nigeria with a 2-0 win to clinch a place in the last 16.

The defeat discouraged many Nigerian football fans even as that was the first appearance of Madagascar football team in Africa Cup of Nations.

Lalaina Nomenjanahary gave Madagascar a 12th-minute lead after pouncing on ponderous defending, jolting a side ranked 63 places above them in the world.

The Super Eagles, however, bounced back on Sunday as they eliminated defending Africa Cup of Nations champions Cameroon after a thrilling 3-2 victory.

AFCON: Super Eagles Coach Rohr Keeps Players On Toes

 

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr pledged to ring the changes for his team’s final Africa Cup of Nations group game against surprise package Madagascar to stoke competition in the squad.

The Super Eagles are guaranteed a place in the last 16 but need a point on Sunday in Alexandria to secure top spot in Group B and set up a meeting with a third-place finisher in the next round.

“It’s important to finish first of the group, it’s better to play a team in third than second so we will do all to finish top,” Rohr told reporters at a pre-match news conference in the Mediterranean city.

READ ALSO: United Complete Wan-Bissaka’s £50m Move

“We have our scout watching a lot of games in Cairo. We have to prepare to play against a good team. It could be South Africa, DR Congo or maybe Cameroon so in all cases it will be a very tough match in the round of 16, but we’re not there yet and are focused on the game tomorrow.”

“Will I make changes? Yes, because I want to put everyone under pressure and have that competition in each position. We’ll see in the last training tonight which changes we will do,” he added.

Madagascar are well positioned to reach the knockout stages in their debut in the competition after collecting four points from their opening two games.

“It will be a really interesting match against a team that has a lot of offensive qualities. I think it will also be a ‘final’ in the group, the winner will be top and that’s a big motivation for us.”

Nigeria forward Ahmed Musa said morale in the squad was good despite a training strike earlier in the week over unpaid bonuses.

“I dont think there’s anything separating the team in camp,” said Musa. “We have to fight for our country and we have to work very hard.

“Each game is more important and we are improving each game and I think the next game will be even better.”

A draw would send Madagascar through as runners-up but coach Nicolas Dupuis, who combines the role with his job a French fourth division club Fleury, insists the Indian Ocean islanders aren’t quite there yet.

“I’m very proud of my players, they’ve all been very good,” said Dupuis. “We’ve played in our first CAN, got our first point and first win.

“We’re not yet qualified for the last 16 so I’m not going to try and calculate things. It would be a shame for it to end here.”

He added: “We’re going out there to try and win knowing we’re not favourites. One point will be enough for us to finish second.”

AFP

Nigeria Play Goalless Draw With Zimbabwe In Warm Up Match

File Photo

 

 

Nigerias Super Eagles and the warriors of Zimbabwe settled for a goalless draw in an international friendly played in Asaba.

The three-time African champions led by Captain Mikel Obi had a large share of possession but could not get past the Zimbabweans who were resolute in defence.

Samuel Chukwueze impressed with his brilliant runs while goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi had little to do in the game.

READ ALSO: FIFA Womens World Cup: Norway Beat Nigeria 3-0 In Group Opener

Meanwhile, Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr said the weather condition in Asaba affected his teams game plan against the warriors of Zimbabwe and expressed certainty that his players could have done better if the pitch was dry.

We did not expect so much of raining already, but we had to adapt to the conditions and I think in Egypt it will not be the same, it will be dry and hot.

Coach Gernot is expected to make up his mind on the two players he intends to drop from the squad ahead of the 2019 African cup of nations.

We already had our opinion before the match, because it is a season we observed the players and we saw what they did.

All the weeks in the training sessions, we had seven sessions and we could see the fitness and confidence of the players; so this match is not giving us the decision on the two players we have to drop, he added.

2019 AFCON Qualifiers: Rohr Hints At Squad Rotation Ahead Of Seychelles Game

Nigerian Coach Gernot Rohr looks during the African Cup of Nations qualification match between Nigeria and Libya in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in southern Nigeria, on October 13, 2018.
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

 

Super Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr has hinted on a possible squad rotation ahead of the Nations Cup qualifier game against Seychelles at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Delta State.

Rohr made the hint during a training session of the Super Eagles in Asaba, Delta State.

Nigeria, who have already qualified for the May competition in Egypt, defeated Seychelles 3-0 at the Stade Linite Stadium in September 2018.

READ ALSO: Nigeria On The Verge Of Qualifying For U-19 Cricket World Cup

Rohr sees the rotation as an opportunity for new players to prove themselves in the squad.

“The interesting game on Friday will be to see how everybody will handle the situation, we have already qualified but we want to do well and improve and the time to be better and progress.”

He suggested that the team would take advantage of the FIFA window, which the Super Eagles will play an International Friendly against the Pharaohs of Egypt on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.

“That’s the last possibility before May, there is no other FIFA window, the 2 games are important, I can do three changes for Friday game and six for the Tuesday game to see a lot of players.”

Eagles Need ‘Big Fighting Spirit’ To Beat Libya In Rematch – Rohr

Nigerian Coach Gernot Rohr looks during the African Cup of Nations qualification match between Nigeria and Libya in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in southern Nigeria, on October 13, 2018.
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr says he expects a challenging Africa Cup of Nations qualifier rematch against Libya on Tuesday despite trouncing the north Africans at the weekend.

Odion Ighalo, the former Watford striker now at Chinese club Changchun Yatai, bagged a hat-trick as Nigeria thrashed Libya 4-0 in the southern town of Uyo on Saturday.

They will square up again in Sfax in Tunisia, the adopted home of war-ravaged Libya.

Rohr said he expected the Libyans to provide a stiffer challenge as they seek to avenge the heavy loss.

“We need a big fighting spirit to beat Libya again,” he insisted.

“It will be a difficult game because after losing 4-0 in Uyo they will be aggressive, they want revenge.”

Rohr added: “We have to be stronger to win again. It’s not finished yet.

“Libya was not defensive (in Uyo) and they could also have scored. They played well, they were fighting.”

The Franco-German coach said the Super Eagles won because their strikers outran Libya’s flat-footed defense.

“Our quick strikers tried to be efficient against the slow defenders of Libya,” Rohr explained.

“We scored an early goal from good pressing and in the second half, they left space in their defense because they tried to score also and we had more opportunities to score.”

Turkey-based Ogenyi Onazi and Shehu Abdullahi have been ruled out of Tuesday’s match after picking up injuries.

Onazi has an inflamed Achilles, while Abdullahi did not complete Saturday’s game due to a leg muscle injury.

Nigeria is now second in Group E with six points from three matches, a point behind leaders South Africa.

Libya is third with four points, while Seychelles have yet to record any points.

The top two teams in the group will advance to the finals in June 2019.

AFP