By Taiwo Ibrahim
Under-fire Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has rued the absence of key players for the embarrassing 1-0 loss to the Central African Republic at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, Sportivation.com.ng reports.
The likes of Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Alex Iwobi did not feature in the game due to varying degree of injuries.
The Wild Beasts earned the maximum points thanks to a strike by Karl Namngandaa to condemn the hosts to a shock loss in front of their fans.
The German tactician revealed that the players are disappointed in the dressing room and he rued the lack of cutting edge.
“The players are still disappointed in the dressing room and still not understanding why we could lose this match,” Rohr told Goal.
“When we analyzed it, we dominated possession of the ball, we had several opportunities to score but we did not score and very often in football, there was a counter and our opponents scored. “Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, we lost.
We had the opportunity to score but we couldn’t. “We have to recover, and we have to make some changes in the team. We missed the creativity of Iwobi, we also missed Ndidi so much. “It was not easy for [Frank] Onyeka and a first-timer [Taiwo] Awoniyi to come in this team.”
Notwithstanding the setback, the German is upbeat that his team will get the job done in the return leg to boost their chances of qualifying for the play-off round. “Cape Verde were well organised but we are still ahead in the group and in three days time, I believe we will be able to win the match,” he continued.
“It will not be in Central Africa, it will be in Cameroon and on a very good pitch. “Also, I think the fighting spirit of the team is still there. I hope in the next game, we will be luckier than today.
Rohr revealed that there will be changes in the second leg in Douala on Sunday.
“There will be some changes. Already, there are some injuries and I don’t know if Kelechi [Iheanacho] is able to play because he had a knock.
“We have some players who are tired because they ran a lot and were fighting as always. This defeat will surely make their recovery more difficult. “They will not sleep well tonight but we have to recover and prepare for Sunday’s game which we must win.”