Gernot Rohr, the Super Eagles coach has explained why he played four at the back for the entirety of the Super Eagles 2-0 loss to Croatia, discarding the 3-5-2 formation that worked well for him, especially in the second half, during the pre-World Cup friendlies.
Daily Trust reports that the former Bayern Munich defender has pointed out that the loss to the Balkans was not as a result of the formation but due to the inability of the team to defend set-pieces.
“I think the organization was okay, we didn’t concede the goal in normal play, we conceded the two goals from set-pieces and it is not a question of tactics or system,” Rohr said at the post-match press conference.
“Our system was okay, we cannot play with three (defenders) when there is only one center forward, so we played with four because they were three strikers and the Croatian strikers are very strong and I was satisfied about the organization of the team.
“What we are missing today is to be more professional with set-pieces to avoid the two goals coming from these situations.
“Each game is different, we know we can play with three center-backs but it was not a good day to do that today.”
Rohr added that the young players in the team, thought to be Oghenekaro Etebo and William Troost-Ekong, made mistakes which led to the two goals conceded by the Super Eagles.
“We are disappointed, when you lose a match it is not a good thing for us but we must recognize Croatia had the better team tonight.
“My young players made some mistakes especially from the corners we worked so much. The first goal came from a corner, the second one also from a corner, a penalty.
“There were also so many fouls in the other box that could have been a penalty for us. but we have to accept this defeat and now we have to win against Iceland.
“All is possible still because we have only one point to win to win against the two other teams. If we win the next game, all is possible for the qualification.”