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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

'I trust my players’ - Rohr refuses to make excuses for Nigeria loss

2:24 AM GMT+4 11/06/2017
Gernot Rohr
Despite Rantie and Tau handing his side their first defeat under his tutelage, the German tactician still believes in the abilities of his squad

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr refused to make excuses for his side after they were beaten 2-0 at home by South Africa on Saturday, yet insists he has confidence in them.

Chidozie Awaziem replaced Kenneth Omeruo in the defence, while Ahmed Musa was kept on the bench for impressive Moses Simon.

Tokelo Rantie and Percy Tau’s second half strikes were enough to hand Bafana Bafana their first win over the Super Eagles, sending the hosts to their first defeat since Rohr took charge.

It was a disappointing evening for the three-time African champions, but the German tactician has refused to give any explanations for losing, assuring that his side would learn from their mistakes.

''My young team had a good first half, they played very well but they didn’t score. And in the second half, we knew that the experienced South Africans could be dangerous on counters and that happened,’’ Rohr told media after the game.

''We had difficulties to finish the match physically because some of my players were tired. We tried to put in three offensive players to bring some power in the attack but it was not enough .

''We knew that South Africa were unbeaten in 17 now 18 games and expected a tough game.

''After this kind of game, we are expected to make progress. My young team with an average age of 23 years today – the youngest in Africa will learn, they will not repeat the same mistakes.

''We controlled the game until the goal and after that, they became nervous. But I trust these players and I will not like to give any excuses.

''I am satisfied with my team and we have to be positive because we cannot always win. We win an we lose together.’’

Nigeria would hope to bounce back to reckoning when they face Seychelles in their next Afcon qualifier on March 27, 2018.