BY KUNLE SOLAJA, KALININGRAD.
The 2-0 loss to Croatia notwithstanding, Super Eagles’ coach is optimistic that his players will recover and at least get four points from the next two games and scale the group stage hurdle.
“We have noted our short comings and we will improve”, he said after the Super Eagles conceded two goals in an opening match for the first time since France ’98.
Naturally, we are disappointed like anyone will feel when you get defeated. Rohr admitted that the major short coming of his team was in getting on well with set pieces. The two goals conceded came off from corner kicks.
The first was in the 32nd minute when Oghenekaro Etebo deflected home the ball to score what is the 42nd own goal in World Cup history. Sadly, the one preceding it was also by a Nigerian, Joseph Yobo in the Brazil 2014 encounter with France.
The second goal was also from a corner kick and William Ekong-Troost pinned down Mario Mandzukic in the 70th minute resulting into an award of penalty kick converted by the Man of the Match, Luka Modric.
Coach Gernot Rohr said that the team is now condemned to win the next game against gusty Iceland that held the group favourites, Argentina to 1-1 draw earlier in the day.
With the results, the Super Eagles are at the bottom of the group. But Rohr is optimistic saying that only one point separates his team from the second placed Argentina and Iceland.