Rohr – I Shouldn’t Have Started Half-Fit Iheanacho, Defends Selecting Idowu Ahead Of Ebuehi

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Gernot Rohr has admitted that he made a blunder in playing Kelechi Iheanacho from the start in Nigeria’s 1-2 loss against Argentina which ended their participation at the ongoing Russia 2018 World Cup.

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Iheanacho started the game for Nigeria and after a poor display in the first half where the forward failed to make his mark in the game, he was replaced with Chinese based striker Odion Ighalo just before the start of the second half.

According to Rohr the decision to start the Leicester City forward was a gamble which didn’t pay off as he wasn’t fully fit for the key encounter which Argentina won with a goal five minutes from full time.

“We did so well. We had the problem of having one day less than Argentina. Perhaps, at the end of the match, that was dangerous. Everybody did well. The goal was coming. When I see what happened in the first half, perhaps I wouldn’t start with the same team because Iheanacho wasn’t fit.”

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Speaking on his decision to start Bryan Idowu ahead of Tyronne Ebuehi, who did very well upon his introduction for Idowu in the 2-0 win over Iceland, Rohr said it was because Idowu defends better than Ebuehi who is still learning the act of defending.

“Idowu was very solid in the team. He’s much better defensively, he has the experience and did very well against Lionel Messi. Our second half was very good with Idowu and I think he can play confidently on both sides.

“Ebuehi, on the other hand, is a fantastic player offensively, he did very well against Iceland but he’s still very young and learning, so he will definitely improve defensively and become a very important player for the team,” Rohr said.

Michael James