Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr has finally revealed that his team’s defeat to Algeria during the international friendly in October was because he was missing the services of several of his regular starters.
Victor Osimhen was barred from joining the Super Eagles squad as the Napoli players were ordered into quarantine following three positive COVID-19 cases, while Oghenekaro Etebo, Daniel Akpeyi, Joe Aribo and Wilfred Ndidi pulled out of the squad owing to injuries.
Ramy Bensebaini decided the game with a left-footed shot from the center of the box in the sixth minute, handing Nigeria their first loss since they were defeated by the same opponent at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
“The defeat against Algeria in October was the first international match after an eleven-month break,” Rohr said to Mannheimer Morgen.
“We were missing half of the team because Covid-19 made it difficult to get everyone together.
“You weren’t even allowed to come from some European countries like England or Italy, where I have important players.
“It was not a year, especially for national teams, to which one can apply normal standards.”
Nigeria ended 2020 without a win in four matches, having drawn their other games against Tunisia (friendly) and Sierra Leone (two AFCON qualifiers).