Nigeria Vs Cameroon: Again, Rohr Opens The Book Of Lamentations
By Amaechi Agbo
The tow-leg June International friendly matches between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and Indomitable Lions of Cameroon might have come and gone with the former unable to record any goal in a defeat and a draw, but what have efused to die down is the aftermath of the clashes.
Prior to the “grade A” friendlies, Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr disclosed explicitly that the match is inconsequential with regards to results but only important in giving him the opportunity to introduce new players in the team and assess them.
With less than few weeks to the matches, some players withdrew citing injuries – Victor Osimhen, Kenneth Omeruo, Samuel Chukwueze, Joe Aribo – were all excused
But in their absence, Rohr had a roboost team to challenge the Lions for the honour, pride and FIFA ranking points ahead.
In 180 minutes of football, Gernot Robr’s lads could not score a single goal even as they lost the first leg by odd goal and drew blank in the return leg with a hugely depleted Cameroon side.
After the second match on Tuesday, June 8, Rohr attributed the team’s inability to grab a win against Cameroon in their doubleheader international friendly at the Stadion Wiener Neustadt in Austria to, once again, the absence of his key players.
The Indomitable Lions held the Eagles to a goalless draw on Tuesday in Austria in their second game in four days, after the Nigerians lost 1-0 in the first fixture on Friday.
The team missed the services of Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun, Samuel Kalu, Henry Onyekuru, Ola Aina, Semi Ajayi amongst others.
In their absence are Maduka Okoye, Shebi Abdullah, Jamilu Collins, Chigozie Awaziem, Wilfred Ndidi, Peter Etebo, Alex Iwobi, Moses Simon, Kelechi Iheanacho, Paul Onuachu and captain, Ahmed Musa, were all in camp for the matches.
Speaking after the game on Tuesday, the Franco-German said although he was impressed with the team’s performances in both legs, they could have done better with the inclusion of the absent stars.
“The result is not the most important thing in these friendlies; the most important thing is to test some players, to see some new faces, which was the case again today (Tuesday).
“We didn’t want to concede a goal and we wanted to score but we could not and that is what happens when you’re missing players like Osimhen, Chukwueze, Aribo, Kalu, Onyekuru, it is not easy but the ones available did well,” Rohr said in a video on social media made available by the Eagles media team.
“We had a lot of chances in both games but we couldn’t score, we missed a little bit of realism in front of goal but the match today was interesting.”
Rohr is also confident the team will be in the best shape when the 2022 World Cup qualifiers get underway in September against Liberia and Cape Verde.
“I think we will be ready for the World Cup qualifiers against Liberia and Cape Verde,” he added.
Nigeria will be hoping to put an end to their winless friendly run when they take on Mexico in another international friendly scheduled for July 4 in the US.
Despite handling the team for almost six years, several NIgeria Football followers have questioners Rohr’s technical ability in fashioning a playing pattern for the team as well as raising a team for the country.