Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr expressed disappointment, but ultimately pride in his team’s showing, after they suffered late heartbreak against Argentina to be eliminated from the World Cup.
The Super Eagles had recovered from a goal down thanks to Victor Moses’ penalty, and looked likely to progress to the last 16, but were unable to hold onto their lead and suffered agony in the 86th minute when Marcos Rojo struck to send Argentina through to the knockout stages.
“It was a little bit down to luck and we didn’t have it today,” said Rohr in his post-match press conference (via FourFourTwo).
“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.”
Despite the result sending Nigeria out of the World Cup, Rohr was full of praise for his side after a battling performance which almost saw them progress to the last 16.
“We are very disappointed, we gave it all, played very well in the second half. We needed just few more minutes to reach the knockout stage.
“I am proud of my team. We just lack experience. Such games build character and in a few years you will see a very strong team,” Rohr said (via BBC).
Nigeria ultimately finished third in their group with four points, behind Argentina and first placed Croatia, who finished the group with the maximum number of points after defeating Iceland 2-1 in their final match.