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AFCON: Why I introduced Chukwueze late against Cameroon – Rohr

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Tony Ubani

As Nigerians keep asking why Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, is hesitant to start Samuel Chukwueze in matches, especially in Saturday’s match when the Eagles were trailing Cameroon 1-2, the German handler came up with a defence after his wards subdued Cameroon at the Alexandria Stadium in Egypt.

Rohr, Chukwueze
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr and winger, Samuel Chukwueze

Responding to questions at the post match conference on why he did not introduce the Villarreal player in place of Moses Simon when the Eagles were trailing 1-2, Rohr said it was for tactical reasons.

He argued that Moses Simon, who plies his football trade with Levante of Spain, was a better defensive player who could keep the foraging Cameroonians like Oyongo in check from doing any damage.

According to Rohr, “when you have some offensive players like the left-back from Cameroon (Oyongo), who comes forward all the time, and you have a strong offensive player like Chukwueze who is not good defensively, then you need a player like Moses Simon who plays more defensively in his club”.

“That was why I started Moses Simon to stabilise the team and bring in Chukwueze at the right time, 60 minutes of the game,” Rohr said, however, adding that “I don’t believe it changed the result but it helped us to score the two goals and win”.

The Super Eagles are staying back in Alexandria to do a post mortem of their journey so far before proceeding to Cairo Monday where they will take on surprise qualifiers, Bafana Bafana of South Africa who shocked host Egypt by a solitary goal before their mammoth supporters who thronged the Cairo International Stadium to cheer them.


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