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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Rohr absolves Akpeyi of blame over South Africa defeat

00:59 IST 11/06/2017
Daniel Akpeyi of Nigeria
The Super Eagles handler has refused to fault the goalkeeper following their defeat to Stuart Baxter’s men at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has defended goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi after his side were silenced 2-0 in an Africa Cup of Nations encounter in Uyo.

Goals from Tokelo Rantie and Percy Tau ensured Bafana Bafana began their campaign for Cameroon 2019 on a flying note away from home.

The Super Eagles passed up a number of chances, with the Chippa United man found guilty, yet the coach has absolved him of any individual blame.

''I am not the kind of person who criticise one player in public – first I will speak with the player,'' said Rohr.

''It was a difficult game for him because he didn’t have so much of work in the first half except on one or two situations.

''These kind of games are very difficult for goalkeepers. The possibility was to bring in [Ikechukwu] Ezenwa or [Dele] Alampasu, but I think [the goals] was not the fault of the goalkeeper.

''We lost altogether in this game. There was no way he could have prevented the first goal and the second goal was a one-on-one situation and he lost it.

''We will prepare for our next game and hope Carl Ikeme would be back then,''