It is no longer news that the Super Eagles of Nigeria have suffered a 1-0 defeat in their World Cup qualifiers against the Central African Republic (CAR), but reactions have been trooping in as the three times African champions suffered their first defeat on the road to Qatar despite dominating play in Lagos on Thursday.
The visitors stunned Gernot Rohr’s men at the Teslim Balogun Stadium after second-half substitute Karl Namnganda broke the deadlock in the 90th minute following a mix-up between center-backs William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun.
Before the Wild Beasts’ breakthrough, Nigeria dominated possession but lacked the cutting edge to beat goalkeeper Prince Samolah, despite the presence of Victor Osimhen, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Taiwo Awoniyi, Samuel Kalu and Ahmed Musa in the frontline.
It’s disappointing – Adepoju
Former Nigeria midfielder Mutiu Adepoju has described the defeat as “very disappointing”.
Adepoju expects the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to review the team’s performance closely.
“It was very disappointing. Losing to the Central African Republic is very disappointing. Definitely, questions will be asked to know why and what happened. Whether it’s a question or a query, there is no Federation that will lose a game and not take actions to guide against future occurrence.
“I don’t know about the query for Rohr but people will ask questions if you lose the game you are expected to win.”
Nigeria still tops Group C with six points after three matches while Cape Verde and Central African Republic trail with four points in the second and third spots, respectively.
We miss Ndidi and Iwobi – Rohr
Reacting to the outcome of the game, Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr said the absence of Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho played a part in the defeat.
The German tactician who lamented about his team’s defeat despite dominating ball possession said that the absence of the pair due to injury worries did not help matters.
“The players are still disappointed in the dressing room and still not understanding why we could lose this match. 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 aand Awoniyi”.
Nigerian underestimated CAR – Savoy
CAR coach, Raoul Savoy said the Super Eagles looked down on the Wild Beasts and were made to bear the brunt.
The Swiss-Spanish tactician noted that Nigeria are one of the best teams in Africa with the quality of players they parade.
“They believed that they had already won the game and even before kick-off, it was everywhere that they will defeat the Central African Republic.
“We showed some respect and we made them pay the hard way for underrating us.
“We were not given any chance by Nigeria and to be honest with you this is a very great result for us.”
READ ALSO: Trilogy fight: Fury vows to knockout Wilder