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AFCON 2019: Rohr Pleased With Eagles’ Winning Start Against Burundi

AFCON 2019: Rohr Pleased With Eagles’ Winning Start Against Burundi

Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr says that starting their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign on a winning note is more important than entertaining the crowd and coming out as loser, reports Completesports.com.

The West Africans had to fight hard to beat the debutants who held on until the 77th minute before substitute Odion Ighalo broke their hearts with a sublime finish from Ola Aina’s exquisite pass.

“Good win, we did what we had to do, it wasn’t beautiful but the win is more important,” the German tactician stated during his interaction with the media after the game.

“We couldn’t make changes because a lot of our players were sick or injured. But we will improve in the next games.”


Samuel Chukwueze tussles with Burundi opponent

Rohr kept faith with Chippa United goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi who has now started the side’s last four games, and insisted he is satisfied with his performance in the game despite a number of howlers by the goalie.

”Akpeyi didn’t concede a goal and I have been impressed with what I’ve seen from him in the past few weeks,” Rohr added.

The Super Eagles will face the Syli National of Guinea in their next Group B game on Wednesday at the Alexandria Stadium.

By Adeboye Amosu

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  • Edoman 5 years ago

    A win is a win. What would you have done if they had lost. Hog a three. Thank God for Ighalo for doing what he does best. Thank God also for Akpeyi for not giving a goal away. The next game will be very important.

    • Darey 5 years ago

      Yes very important and different too!!! Rohr has figured his first IX out from this match and there is a level of understanding now….Akpeyi’s confidence is coming in little by little

      • Hi Darey.
        Is Akpeyi’s confidence coming back?
        His attributes as an excellent shot-stopper has never being in doubt.
        It is his his demeanor and minor gaffs that sends his critics to shout: ‘crucify him!’
        In truth, we need a goalkeeper that instills confidence in fans and Akpeyi doesn’t appear to do that.
        I do hope, like you said, that his confidence improves. But I don’t think even that will be enough for most who have given up on him centuries ago!

    • Patrick 5 years ago

      I agree with you. I see Burundi defeating guinea. We must beat guinea. This group will likely turn to group of death for the other teams in the group apart from super eagles. In our next match Ahmed Musa and ighalo must start. We must also introduced Henry onyekuru in the match.

  • BestSports 5 years ago

    Akpeyi is a natural disaster waiting to happen. I hope he stop fidgeting and shaking like fowl wen rain beat. Super eagles kept trying to penetrate thru the middle by force but lack common sense to be unpredictable by trying d wing and cross d ball and dribble inside or cut inside or unpredictably try d middle of their defensive structure! It would have been better and less work to open scores. Goodluck next time.

    • @Bestsports, let’s hope he works on his demeanor.

      According to allnigeriasoccer.com, they wrote: ‘2. Akpeyi Saves Nigeria’s Blushes

      Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi who has usurped Francis Uzoho as Nigeria’s first choice goalkeeper made some outstanding saves which helped in the way the game panned out.

      Had Burundi scored first, the outcome of the match might have been different as that could have boosted the confidence level if the debutants’.

      • So allnigeriasoccer.com have now become the standard for football. He made 2 saves and could have easily conceded 2 or 3 all by himself. The fact that he was in goal also put a lot of strain on the defenders. It affected their decision making and their concentration. You will all be talking like this until he causes a major damage then it will be too late. if you did not see the impact his presence was causing at the defence, then its a shame. He was causing unnecessary corner kicks, dropping the ball when hes suppose to hold firmly to it, can’t sort out his legs quick enough to kick out back passes…..Abeg!!!

        • neo, allnigeriasoccer correspondents made an opinion which resonated with me in one of their articles which I was only happy to quote. I don’t think anything is wrong with that.

          With Akpeyi, we know what we have come to expect and yes, sometimes, his blunders unfortunately undo some of his excellent work.

          Only he can sort that out.

          But overall, some of the shots he stopped yesterday could so easily have gone in if it was another goalkeeper.

          Am I concerned about Akpeyi’s propensity for error? I guess yes. Overall, do I think he is a good goalkeeper? I think yes. Would I like Rohr to look for another goalkeeper who is not as error-proned as Akpeyi after Afcon? Absolutely yes.

          For now he is what we have and with support and encouragement, hopefully he will eradicate his propensity for error.

        • Ndubuisi 5 years ago

          You have said it all my brother that’s exactly my thought. How can he wait for strikers to rush him before kicking out ball thereby putting his defenders under pressure. If we meet good team like Senegal I wonder if he would not shit. He’s suffering from stage fright and I don’t think he will stop it now. He’s a time bomb waiting to explode. Wish Rohr could give ezenwa a chance at least he has confidence.

        • Mikey 5 years ago

          @NEO, I agree with on all you said about Akpeyi, atimes i wonder what is in d sky that he’s looking at and he wont just release the ball on time. He played himself into trouble for the better part of the match..whyyyy ??? No wonder Ike Shorunmi was saying ”AKPEYI I DONT KNOW”

  • Omo9ja 5 years ago

    ”Akpeyi didn’t concede a goal and I have been impressed with what I’ve seen from him in the past few weeks,” Rohr added.

    Of course you will. How wouldn’t? We just finished watching Super Falcons with joy against Germany and we were all impressed.

    It’s your turn now, you are given us Akpeyi who has nothing to offer us except shaking like PĘPĘYĘ who haven’t eaten over a year. What a shame.

    We wants results and also we wants good football. No excuses anymore. We are tired of that. I wish your players a speedy recovery but you can still make use of what you have for now.

    Good luck coach. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • Everybody knows that Akpeyi is not a good keeper. So, it’s no news. Have you congratulated the team for winning 1-0, first? Or are they not Nigerians and entitled to you appreciation for the win against Burundi today?
      What have you to say about your Dennerby who used only two natural midfielders against Germany today? What have you to say about him using a striker as a midfielder against Germany and then, converting the striker to a left back in the same match when it was obvious that his choice of leftback replacement for Ebere was fumbling and fumbling big time? What have you to say about his hardened refusal to put a visibly misfiring Oparanozie on the bench for better players? Or was Oparanozie not more or less, a minus one in all the four matches she played?
      What have you to say about his defensive approach to all the games super falcons played in France? Even in the knockout stage, he had no boldness to allow the girls play good attacking football. With all his defensive approach to games look at his record in France: win 1, lost 3, goals scored 2, goals conceded 7, goal difference minus 5. Tell me if that is a pass mark?.
      Before you start accusing any coach here, first assess the performance of your beloved coach, Dennerby.

  • Presh 5 years ago

    Akpeyi is a disaster waiting to happen. 

  • Edoman and Darey, it can be quite difficult to try to occupy a centre ground in arguments particularly after Nigeria was widely expected to have steamrolled the Burundians yesterday, so I applaud you both for your contributions.

    Yes Edoman, a win is a win particularly over a stubborn team like Burundi who could have nicked a goal yesterday from close range if another goalkeeper was in post.

    Like you said Darey, Rohr is slowly but surely figuring out his starting 11- indeed, they can only be expected to build on this performance and get better.

    Regarding the goalkeeping, I read a contribution from Aypillydegreat which I think best sums it up. He said something like: ‘Akpeyi seems to take 2 steps forward and 3 steps backwards’. That statement is balanced and difficult to argue against.

    Just after pulling off a fantastic save from point-blank range, he appeared to return to his jittery nature as the game wore on.

    One media outlet wrote: ‘Daniel Akpeyi: 8/10
    He had a good game making some crucial saves. Despite a few nervy moments he was excellent on the night.’

    Another wrote: ‘Daniel Akpeyi: 4.5/10
    Made a crucial save to prevent Burundi going ahead early on, but seemed less assured as the game went on, and by the end of it had returned to his error-prone best’.

    I think Daniel Akpeyi is his own worst enemy: he makes a fantastic save only to show propensity for a fantastic blunder’.

    Unfortunately, many fans will never see the good side of what he does. Their minds are so programmed to expected Akpeyi to either blunder or look bereft of conference (and Akpeyi never disappoints his critics!).

    In all, well done and I hope the team makes use of their firepower as the tournament goes on.

    • Adisboy 5 years ago

      Deo, did you actually watch the match? Akpeyi made just one good save but was very lucky not conceed at least TWO times purely by his own doing. He made the exact mistake Uzoho made against Seychelles only that this time it wasn’t a goal. He displayed a very high level of anxiety for someone if his experience for example diving and punching for corners balls that were clearly going over. This cannot be good. People who say Uzoho wouldn’t have saved that Burundi chance forget the save him in Uyo against Libya from a point-blank header that preserved our clean sheet, or the point blank save against Lewandorski against Poland. Granted keepers make mistakes but to be outright nervous throughout 90 mins for a 32 year old is a serious problem. Remember Uzoho is still a kid and dips in form are to be expected but I have never seen Uzoho that anxious even after making that mistake against Seychelles. This has be solved or it will definitely cost us in a tight game. At this point i’ll go for Ezenwa over Akpeyi

      • Adisboy,
        Hope you are keeping well bro. Nice to hear from you.

        I am well aware of Akpeyi’s foibles and I crinched when I saw him yesterday try to control a simple ball only to mess it all up leading to the ball going for a corner kick.

        Imagine if that had happened in between the sticks – stupid goal to concede.

        Only God can help Akpeyi!

        If Uzoho was free of mental baggage or if Ezenwa was 100% match fit, we wouldn’t be here.

        But we are where we are. I will encourage Akpeyi and ask Rohr and the goalkeeping coaches to continue to work on his Psyche. He may yet turn out to be the best goalkeeper in this tournament.

        • Adisboy 5 years ago

          Bro, i’m keeping well. As you said we are where we are but none the less, we have a serious problem that we just have to manage for this tournament. I’m hoping for the best.

  • Omaskels 5 years ago

    Hmmmm..let’s me start with Falcons.Coach Dennerby nor be coach at all.Our local coach would av done better..NFF wasting money on him.Oparanozie should hide her head in shame..she flopped.. Talking abt d super eagles, dis is their best performance since after d world cup, everyone clicked except Mikel. Naija we too complain, Uzoho nor good, Ezenwa get fault, Akpeyi dey shake..so na who Una wan use?? Na Omeruo?? Akpeyi is d best among dem,so gud with his feet(Nice passes) he gave out a brilliant performance last night..even d best hands like De gea,Enderson, Buffon still make errors..Akpeyi na human too oo..d guy has really improved..well done to d technical crew for d quick changes.. Up eagles.!

    • What a feedback! I thoroughly enjoyed enjoyed reading it.

      Thanks Omaskels. Your entry makes for riveting reading despite being brief in content. Please, keep it coming my brother.

    • Don’t worry na…..wait till we meet a better team, with better attackers. The you can come back to repeat this.

      • Well Buffon, Allison, Ederson, De Gea and Cabellero have conceded against better teams with better strikers. Forgive me if I fail to see something new here.

  • I can see that this omo9ja is an idiots sorry to use the word. We just watching super falcon with joy against Germany after loosing 3:0 despite all the calculator that ensure their qualification. I now know you wanted to pull this coach down at all means. But get what he want be Nigeria coach forever but he will leave one day and be remember like Westerhof and co

    • Dr. Drey 5 years ago

      Hahahaha…don’t mind him. He was the only one that watched falcons with joy loosing 0-3 at a world cup where we have the refs to thank for cancelling Korea’s equalizer,argentina to thank for coming from 3 goals down to draw 3-3 with Scotland, Thailand for defending so stoutly throughout their match against Chile as if it was going to save the country from destruction and ‘OmoLARA’ of Chile to thank for smashing that penalty unto the bar.
      He was the only one that was happy with a team that lacked any ideas once the ball leaves our own half of the field.
      He was obviously the only one happy IMG seeing our team play midfielders in defence and strikers in midfield.
      I wouldn’t understand why anyone could be so sentimentally and sheepishly blind.

  • Daniel Akpeyi is disaster waiting to happen if Nigeria continues to feature him. A tested and trusted Ikechukwu Ezinwa is better any day.

    • Diran 5 years ago

      Exenwa is a much better and more confident goal tender than Akpeyi

  • I guess Akpeyi do bribes Agu or whoever to get his name on the list always. Nigeria has better and reliable safe hands that we all know. Akpeyi is INCONSISTENTLY CONSISTENT.

  • leave dis guy alone. we all day enjoy our 1-0 victory, and others dey enjoy their own 3-0 loss.
    what is d big deal there…?

  • Sunnyb 5 years ago

    Akpeyi was the man of the match by far, I think this guy is of the best goalkeeper in the world, he made seven saves he reflexes is on the money, put it on me this guy will not concede any goals in this tournament.

  • Hmmm….Let us Pray…
    Father Lord, Continue to Man the Goal post with which ever goal keeper we select for any match.
    Bring back Collins on time because we need him and Aina. Awaziem tried but if we play against any team with a good free kick specialist…hmmm..na wahala o.
    Akpeyi’s second Error was the same error uzoho committed that lead to goal. If it’s those saves that is deceiving us, Uzoho had made nice saves in the past too o e.g that finger tip against Messi before the goal and against Lewandowski.
    But they will make good saves only to follow it with lots of errors.
    So whoever keeps…it should just be like yesterday..”it remains small” that will be our song o but it won’t enter.
    Only Awaziem single handedly conceded like 4 free kicks yesterday but I still love the guy said.
    But nna…its so unfortunate for Onuachu. The first half formation didn’t favour the guy.
    I have a quote from GOAL
    “Whenever Nigeria did get the ball into the final third, they had a significant aerial target in Onuachu but no movement or runners around him “- Goal AFCON Analysist, Grant De Smidt.
    Mikel was supposed to be the player behind being the offencive Mid-fielder yesterday but…in short. God should just see us through…
    I won’t mind if we struggle to the final and win the Cup. God, Let that be. Amen.

  • Mr Hush 5 years ago

    Good game yesterday..
    We must give it to Burundi,they did owe their own; they gave us a good running,but quality always comes to bear;the innovation of Aina and marksmanship of Ighalo shown through..

    My take is simple;
    Our starting line up wasn’t good enough,not because they aren’t quality,just that the set up wasn’t right.
    A slow Mikel as playing behind a slow Onuachu would never penetrate an astute defence,not one like that of Burundi yesterday.
    That made our midfield shaking,because Etebo though a hustler,is never a good passer.Ndidi is more of the clean up guy.
    We expected our wingers ,Iwobi and Chukwueze to be the creative outlet,but they were starved of passes from the middle.
    And when they did get the ball,the people ahead of them or side of them(Mikel and Paul) weren’t really making those creative runs ,cause they got no speed in them.
    So we suffered in the final third.
    But with the introduction of Musa and Ighalo,the tempo upfront increased,we saw the runs that made the openings.
    I definitely hope we start with the finishing line up in the next match.if Mikel is to play,then Etebo must be sacrificed.so Mikel plays as CMF beside Ndidi.not as n AMF.that should be left for Iwobi.(although I like the hustling of Etebo,he fades too soon)..

    As for Akpeyi..wow… without sounding emotional.i think he is a good shot stopper,but lack self confidence.and that can always come to hurt you..you could have the whole potential but without belief,it comes to nothing.everythibg starts in the mind.Akpeyi must build his confidence.but it is already too late now,cause as they say in game of thrones,”winter is already here”.the Afcon has already begun.we are stuck with him and the rest average goalkeeping cohorts.we can only support and hope.

    And to the debate about the Dennerby over Rohr.or so..

    I think Dennerby did well,we just have to look at where we are coming from and be realistic about our charges. We don’t have the quality to match teams like Germany,Norway or so..we simply don’t..
    Dennerby tried to manage what he has ,so atleast the disaster wouldn’t be worst..but disaster is always disaster no matter how minuit. But it would be wrong to put such on Dennerby’s desk. For me,he is good tactically.he knows how he wants his team to play,but the falcons don’t really have the quality right now to play that way.female football in Nigeria hasn’t been managed to that level. We just have to start from scratch and start building for next time..

    Falcons loss was expected.so nothin to celebrate about that.you can’t celebrate mediocrity.if you do,it means you are stuck in denial..they did good.but they aren’t good enough..they must get better….

    For now,I look forward to enjoy the Super Eagles win and win they will..

    • Ndubuisi 5 years ago

      Thanks you really watched the match. The major problem we had yesterday was playing Mikel as attacking midfielder luckily we escaped the upset. In our friendly match with Zimbabwe he was voted man of the match and he paired etebo with iwobi playing attacking midfield. Mikel should be used in that position against guinea and etebo may come in when he’s getting tired. He has lost his little pace but can actually detect play from there. Eagles has the potential to go far in this tournament but we may have to cope with agbeyi inconsistency if he continue to man the post.

  • Abdulrazak 5 years ago

    Some of the comments here are from people who watched the match while smoking some extremely strong stuff.

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