AFCON 2019: Rohr explains why Odion Ighalo didn’t start against Burundi


Odion IghaloSuper Eagles of Nigeria coach, Gernot Rohr, has given reasons on decision not to start striker, Odion Ighalo against Burundi in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations first game on Saturday in Egypt.

Substitute Odion Ighalo came in for Paul Onuachu in the second half of the match to give Nigeria the only goal in just four minutes of play after the Super Eagles were held to 76 minutes goalless draw.

And Rohr speaking after the match said it was a tactical decision not to start the Shanghai Shehua star against Burundi.

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”Burundi were in the same group with Mali and qualified, we saw the games, they were unbeaten in the qualifiers,” Rohr was quoted by Allnigeriasoccer as saying at his post-match after the game at the Alexandria Stadium.

”It is not easy especially as it was difficult to score the first goal. If the first goal does not come early, we suffer and have to work hard to win the match.

”Our plan was to bring in Ighalo when the other team perhaps give us more space and it happened today, but we had a big problem physically.”

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”So many players were sick in the last two weeks, there was a virus and half of the team had fever, was tired and could not train,” Rohr added.

‘Musa and Shehu could not complete the first half. Yesterday, we lost two players in the training session.

”I am happy that the solidarity of the team made the difference.”

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will now face Guinea in their next group stage game on June 26.


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