Ighalo: Eagles Unlucky; Sorry For The Loss To Algeria

Ighalo: Eagles Unlucky; Sorry For The Loss To Algeria

Odion Ighalo says the Super Eagles were unlucky to lose their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations semifinal match to the Desert Foxes of Algeria, and appeals to Nigeria fans for forgiveness, Completesports.com reports.

The Super Eagles’ hopes of winning a fourth continental title was dashed following a 2-1 defeat to the North Africans in the semifinal clash at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday.

Gernot Rohr’s men were second best for most part of the first half and conceded an own goal after William Troost-Ekong put Riyad Mahrez’s dangerous cross into his own net.


Ighalo gesticulates thankfulness to God after equalising for Nigeria from a spot-kick

Ighalo restored parity for the Super Eagles from the spot in the 70th minute and with extra time approaching, Riyad Mahrez curled in a superb free kick to put paid to the ambition of the Super Eagles.

“It was a difficult game. We were unlucky on the last minute, and they scored. We didn’t play well in the first half, but second half we improved. I think we deserved more than we got today,” Ighalo said after the game.

“This is football. They got a free-kick and scored. We have to learn from our mistakes and look forward to the third-placed match now.


Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo vs Algeria’s Mehdi Zeffane and Sofiane Feghouli

The Shanghai Shenhua of China striker apologises to Nigeria fans for the unfortunate defeat.

“To our fans, I want to say we are sorry for this defeat. We gave our best, but it was not enough. We conceded a last minute goal. It was a hard result for us,” Ighalo appealed..

“We have to keep working hard. We have another game on Wednesday, the third-place match. We hope to win that.”

By Adeboye Amosu (photos: by Ganiyu Yusuf) in Cairo

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  • We have to let go. Candid advice: a good number of you “young team” members should have guts enough to throw in the towel. Don’t allow a mob of angry fans to go after you with sachets of ‘pure water.’

  • abba rossi 2 years ago

    Hmm unlucky? super eagle are very lucky to reach this stage to be honest,if super eagle Algeria yesterday and go ahead and win this tournament to me luck did not do justice to football.

  • abba rossi 2 years ago

    if super eagle beat Algeria*

  • If victor moses was there? Can we get him back in the team?

  • We need a playmaker in Super Eagles with good dribble runs that can upset any defence lineup…….We had it in VICTOR MOSES, he destroy the Algerians in Uyo……. Scored two beautiful goals….. if he played the match yesterday Super Eagles would have lost……. Riyad Mahrex proves that he is a Playmaker who can win game a critical moment for his team…… Victor Moses will have done that for Nigeria……either to score or win a penalty for his team.

    • I mean to say that if Victor Moses was around we would have WON that Match…..

      • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

        Even Julius Aghahowa sef…..Im 100% sure he would have scored against Algeria. After all he scored against them in 2002 AFCON too.

  • Igalo is one of our problems in that team,he doesn’t press the opposition defenders,he give so many options to play long balls into our own half

  • abeg @Destiny, Bomboy, Cj, and my fellow inteligent officers in the house including the frequent and occassional intelectuals’ now what is the way forward now?? i really appreciate ur efforts. do we still need that rohr?? do u think if rohr stay will he remove akpeyi for good keeper? do u think rohr can sub off ighalo for more deadly striker?? or think rohr can find the needed attack midfielder who can drive opponent backward and drawn dangerous free kick against stubborn defence?? u think rohr can inject confidence in his squad?? or think rohr can learn lesson from friendly matches?? i need to hear una voice na, u people are the executives in this forum na… speak ur mind.

  • abba rossi 2 years ago

    @oluwa just ask yourself from the begin of this tournament what exactly rohr do different that you have never seen in this team before or what exactly did he do that improve this team and how many errors he committed in all the matches he plays as coach and correct or majors did he take which doesn’t happen again? surely nigeria have what its take to win this tournament in terms of players qualities individual but we dont have a bench,a very sound trainer with this super eagle he can win this tournament no doubt about that.

  • Ara Nkita 2 years ago

    You were one of the reasons we lost.

    Your selfishness prevented you from squaring the ball to musa who was in a better position to score. Immediately after that nonsense from you, Algeria scored their first goal.

    You didn’t repent from your selfish play after the world cup.

    You have done more harm to our emotions than good from your selfishness.

    We don’t need you anymore.

  • A responsible nigerian will never suport nff to retain gr he is not a coach for se. How can a coach went to a tournament with only four midfielders no natural atacking midfielder.one left back.injured shehu and kalu. They even try to make it to semi finals with average players. Droping iheanacho and semi ajayi was a disaster we have better players than the players we have in camp today. I said it ealier ogu. onuachu.shehu.akpeyi.uzoho are not se materials for now. This yeye coach has been there for three years yet he could not asemble our best players. i prefer k nwakali to iwobi. Uche agbo. esiti.stephen eze.azubuike.babatunde. Simy.igbekeme.alampasu.afelokai are good players but gr will never give them chance. Nff should go for a good coah God bless 9ja

    • Dr. Drey 2 years ago

      You forgot to add, tony okpotu, rabiu ali, femi thomas, isiaka olawale, Chison chikatara, Junior lokosa, Tijani (from U20) atc….LOlz. Quality players everywhere far better that this junks we that reached afcon semis.

    • @Stan, All those players you have recommended for Super Eagles are top quality. The only one I will single out is Nwakali, the rest are average players…… What we need in Super Eagles is Playmaker or a Game Changer, who can change the course of the game when the chips are down like what Riyad Mahrex did for Algeria. I miss Victor

    • I Miss Victor Moses in the Algerian Game, he would have change the course of the game, when the chips were down, atmost give us a penalty with his dribble runs intonthe 18yard box.

    • @Stan, I mean to say those players you have recommended for Super Eagles are NOT top quality……The only one I will single out of all that you have mentioned is Nwakali I dont why Genort Rohr didnt invite him….

  • Aauxtyne 2 years ago

    It is not a joke or sheer luck that the Super Eagles got to the semifinals. They need to improve to lay their hands on 2021 AFCON trophy. Our team is a team for the future. We hope for the best.

    • @Everytime team for the future……. My question is when is the future ? I refuse to celebrate mediocrity…….Nigeria is a football nation and is considered in the comity of soccer fraternity as the powerhouse of Africa football, this is the team that was rated by FIFA in 1994 after the world cup as the best 4th in the world. GR is yet to uncover the true potential of this Nigeria Team, he lacks the technical savvy to turns things around in the course of the game when the chips are down. We went far to semifinal NOT because of G.R tactical input but rather the individual brilliance of the team.

      • Omo9ja 2 years ago

        Thank you bro. When is the future is going to be, maybe tomorrow ba? Nigerians have been saying this for so long.

        We like deceiving ourselves. I’m not going to deceive myself. Sorry, this team have no future under coach Rohr. We need a change quickly. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Pompei 2 years ago

    Ighalo, you don’t need to apologize to anybody! You have done a good job! You scored 4 goals in this competition. You may even add to that tally if you are selected to play in the 3rd place match. Yes, you need to improve. And being less selfish would probably help. Yet, we all know that the hallmark of great strikers is BEING WILLING TO TAKE ON GOAL SCORING RESPONSIBILITY, which is often misconstrued as selfishness. You did well. The team did well. We were just unfortunate. You can’t win all the time. Instead of asking you to apologize, I would rather say a big THANK YOU for your service. Best wishes to you in the future!

  • Proudly 9ja 2 years ago

    Hello all, hope u guys are doing great? Yeaterdays game was a bitter pill to swallow hence all d emotional comments people were making For me personally, the reason why I didn’t comment yesterday was bcos I knew my comments would have been more emotional than logical. From reading the threads yesterday and before now I realized that there are 3-4 things most fans who are not hapi with the coach and team are angry about. They are

    1. coach is not considered competent for a big soccer country like Nigeria

    2. late and wrong substitution

    3. deficiency in d goal keeping department

    4. Attacking midfielder or playmaker or game changer.

    please if I have missed anything I would appreciate it if others can add to d list.

    I honestly blif changing the coach now will be counterproductive (I know some won’t agree as it’s likely they have already made up dia minds and no matter what they won’t change dia stance), the reason I se dis no be se I personally like d coach but the truth is if we bring in a new coach now and we miss d world cup or nations cup na all d people wen se fire d coach go still come dey se we for kuku keep GR as some are now saying about Iheanacho after calling him a waste pipe due to his dip in form. SE prior to GR was considered super chicken when local coaches were in charge, recall we were outside top 10 in small Africa b4 GR took charge and we are now 3rd. I am in support of local coaches but whom? Na obuh wen no fit afcon u20? abi na amuneke wen no fit qualify for afcon u20 abi na sia1 wen no fit qualify for d same competition wen GR will play 3rd place match? The country Algeria dat beat us were just lucky to have scored a last minute goal due to naivety on our part. Wetin mahrez play all game except the cross wen hit ekong body b4 entering and d freekick. Algeria no play anything in my opinion ooo. 3 of the top 4 countries according to fifa ranking made it to d semi final so it’s not all bad as people are saying. If we get a new coach wetin be d guarantee se we go win d next afcon but with dis coach and dis players with d addition of a few more we have a better chance to lift it. Remember we had missed 2 consecutive afcon so reaching d semi final with just a minute left to potentially going to extra time and subsequently winning it all is not too too bad. I understand se as 9ja we r supposed to always be dere but can anyone tell me d last time a 9ja team participated in d club world cup? infrastructures dey 9ja like d dem dey for north Africa or some French speaking African countries? how long was our league out for? players go play NFF no go gree pay.

    Regarding the playmaker or attacking midfielder position that some say we are lacking, I think most Nigerians are thinking more like someone in d mold of JJ okocha but soccer has since passed dat stage. I would ask anyone to tell me other than Spain dat plays a false 9, which country plays an attacking midfielder in d okocha mould. France, Brazil, Belgium, Portugal etc all play 442. Can anyone mention d attacking midfielder in these teams? na pogba, artur,

    people calling for sia1 should tell me who he used as d attacking midfielder? sia1 has been with d SE for long and he never discovered an attacking midfielder same as Sunday oliseh, I know people would se they were not there for as long as GR and were not given d freedom as GR, fair point but if the attacking midfielder is out there they would have gotten him.

    As regards to subbing early and rightly, am not hapi with this part of d coach’s attitude, the NFF should ask GR what his tot process is wen making subs, they can tell him what they expect, this problem could easily be remedied and if required ask him to get refresher course on match reading etc

    Goal keeping department, tho akpeyi doesn’t exude confidence but no one can complain about the 1v1 the Algerian #9 scored. Who are d goal keepers we have here 9ja and globally that can be brought to d team. in my opinion we should be looking at keepers not older than 25yrs old who r fearless but problem is they will make mistakes and if they do let’s not crucify dem.

    Let’s keep supporting the team regardless of who d coach is as SE is all ours. Thanks again

  • Omo9ja 2 years ago

    @Proudly 9ja, you are missing the point here bro. I comprehends you, we should give the coach another chance making the third one right?

    Point of correction, coach Amunike did not have qualities in his team like Super Eagles.

    NFF have never treated our local coaches well starting from Coach Chukwu, Eguavor, Keshi, Siasia, Obur and so on. But when it comes to foriegn coach, they will do more than their capacities.

    That have to be changed. If you are truly a Proudly 9ja, coach Rohr must go for betterment of our football.

    During the coach Westerhof and Jo Bonfrere, we enjoyed watching good football.

    What did we enjoy during the coach Rohr’s era? The coach is not confident enough, no good keepers, we are not bold enough to say we have a solid team, my team is young and he qualified Nigeria with a game to spare abi?

    I bet you if NFF can support our local coaches, they will do more than foreign coach. Look at Senegal, they have learnt their lessons and they turned to their ex player.

    Algeria did the same thing. Both nations are playing in the final while our Oyinbo coach couldn’t go through.

    It is time for our ex players and local coaches to takeover. No excuses. Oga Rohr must go. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Proudly 9ja 2 years ago

    My brother I truly understand your view point and I appreciate the enthusiasm and passion u use in stating ur point I have never read any comment u have made insulting anyone. I really hope u r right when it comes to local coaches coaching the SE. Right now I doubt if anyone other than Amuneke and Oliseh has an authentic level A coaching badge. Of these coaches that u have mentioned none of dem other than amuneke has coached a foreign country (lol tanzania) so expecting the same salary as someone who has coached several foreign countries (African countries and qualified 1 to d quarter finals), clubs and played for a top club. is not fair or practical. But that being said u r absolutely right that if given the RIGHT person the kind of conducive environment that we accord the foreign coaches then I blif they would succeed. But I think there are so many things required for our football to grow starting from tying soccer to education like before. Just imagine the kinda of moni NCAA make in basketball and how the moni they generate help d universities and elevate poor kids from poverty. Just think if we can replicate that with our soccer, we will not only have a country with soccer stars but educated ones as well. There needs to be prosecution of those who knowingly falsify ages of our youth so they can play age grade competitions. so many tins need to in place for our soccer to grow. We need to have synergy between all our coaches so we have a known soccer philosophy. Just my opinion

  • @Dr Drey no kill me with laugh i no get power to laugh.

  • There are a lot of mistakes in SE formation. 1. playing ndidi as a midfielder in se is a big mistake he can play in midfield for club not for nigeria ndidi cant hold the ball for ten seconds. he cant drible an oponent and give a good pass he is a defender playing ndidi in our defence will be fantastic. He is our problem in that mildfield we need two skiful midfielders and one to do the dirty job. 2. ekong is not a good defender he is overated am not saying this because of the own goal he scored in our last match awaziem is far better than ekong a good coach will never play ekong. 3. iwobi is a winger not an atackin midfieler. many will not agree with me but am saying the truth am not a coach but am far better than GR i did not go to a coaching school but i can coach.