Coach of the Nigeria Super Eagles Gernot Rohr has urged Nigerians not to blame his no.1 choice goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi for the 2-0 loss to South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo on Saturday, June 10.
Despite fielding FC Ifeanyi Ubah's Ikechukwu Ezenwa during the two games Nigeria played in France, Corsica and Togo, Rohr's choice on match day was Akpeyi who was not lucky to have conceded two goals in the second-half of the crucial match.
The defeat ensured South Africa ended the 24-year-jinx after beating Nigeria for the first time ever in a competitive fixture. It was also an emphatic win.
“I won’t blame the keeper for the defeat, we lose as a team. The first goal, a header came from the right, through a cross from the South African right-back.
"The second had our keeper beaten from outside the box but we should have had a man marking the scorer. The whole team lost, I can’t blame a single player,” Rohr said after the game.
Nigeria now walk a tight in AFCON qualifying Group E and are third on the log. With 3 points Libya who defeated Seychelles 5-1 in the opening group game are leading following the emphatic win.
South Africa who also claimed 3 points are second following their 2-0 unbelievable win against Nigeria away from home, while Seychelles are rock bottom.
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AFCON 2019 qualifying series continue on March 27, 2018, where Nigeria travel to the city of Victoria to face Seychelles at the Stade Linité.
Nigeria have failed to qualify for the AFCON tournament since they won it in 2013 under the tutelage of Stephen Keshi who is late now.
Below is a video of the Super Eagles as they prepare for the World Cup qualifiers.