On Friday, November 13, 2020, Super Eagles Surrendered a four-goal Lead against Sierra Leone in the Matchday 3 of the 2021 Africa Cup. Actions qualifier played at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin but coach of the side, Gernot Rohr has offered reasons on why the team surrendered their first half victory in the second half to the visitors.
With less than 30 minutes played, the Super Eagles were coasting to victory having scored four goals – the highest number of goals they have scored in a single half under the German football tactician – but let their healthy lead slip away as Kwame Quee pulled a goal just before half time, before goals from Alhaji Kamara and Mustapha Bundu in the second half.
Rohr believes poor preparations, the unfavorable weather and the injury suffered by Victor Osimhen after 78 minutes are to blame for the shock draw against the Leone Stars.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Rohr explained : “If they say they are vexed about the match and the result they are right. We are all vexed about it, we cannot accept such a result when you lead 4-0 and you have 4-1 at half time.
“The first half was one of the best we had together so what happened that the team collapsed in the second half.
“We are now trying to analyze, for me already what is sure is that we had a very bad preparation, the players arriving very late even the day before the match in the evening.
“We had only one collective training together, physically and mentally they lost energy in the second half.
“Hot weather for the players coming from Europe especially and then a collapse came and in the end our main striker suffered an injury and so everybody is saying bad luck.”
Rohr highlighted that the players are disappointed with the second half collapse, has criticized the young players in the squad for throwing a spanner in the works and the players were content with the lead in the first half.
However, he is backing his team to bounce back with a win in Tuesday’s reverse fixture.
“Mentally, especially our young players, are not strong enough for these kind of games so we have to check, we should not forget it was very good in the first half, we cannot forget but the result is here, one point. We need another three points now to qualify, we want to do it there in Freetown.
“Everybody is determined, everybody is vexed, nobody slept, so we are trying to do some training and in the meeting we do we’ll speak about the mistakes.
“I am sure they will react because I know my team, I know what they can do, they showed it in the first half, if we can maintain the energy for the second half we can do it even if I always knew it was a good team, you didn’t believe me.
“I think during the half time the players believed it’s finished, it was not finished, it’s a good lesson to everybody – to the staff, to the players. We have to react, I can promise you that we will react.
“If they are lucky or not I cannot promise you but they will fight, we will go there to win the match”.
In the race for Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, Benin are now one point behind Nigeria with six points garnered from three matches following their 1-0 win over Lesotho on Saturday evening.
It could be recalled that the Super Eagles trained with the Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shuaibu on Tuesday morning while the minisyer of youth and sports, Sunday Dare and Nigeria Footba Federation President, Amaju Pinnick all trained with the team on Thursday.