By Johnny Edward:
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has praised the ‘never say die’ attitude of the Home Eagles after they fought back from a goal down to beat Angola in the quarter-final of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The Home Eagles were minutes from exiting the tournament but a cool finish from Anthony Okpotu sent the game into extra time after Angola had gone ahead with a deflected shot.
Gabriel Okechukwu sealed the win in extra time in the 113rd minute, skipping past three defenders to slot home the winner and Rohr says the Salisu Yusuf team deserved the victory.
“We are very happy because it was a wonderful game and it was not easy but the team deserved to qualify because they never gave up,” Rohr told journalists after the game in Tangiers.
“They scored in the 91st minute to bring themselves back on level terms.
“They scored in the 91st minute, obviously the better side and they were stronger in extra time
“This result is a very good result and shows the quality in this team which plays good football now making the semi-finals of the competition is a good success for Nigerian football.”
Rohr also expressed his delight at the heroics of Enyimba goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa who was named the man-of-the-match of the encounter.
Ezenwa made three brilliant saves to keep his side in the game and Rohr says the Enyimba goalkeeper showed the world a home-based player can make the main Super Eagles squad.
“It’s not new to me because I know Ezenwa very well,” Rohr added. “That’s why I picked him for the games against Cameroon and Algeria because he is a good goalkeeper in a one versuss one situation and one of the best.
“His reflexes are very good and he showed it today. He made three or four crucial saves. A team needs a good goalkeeper and I’m happy to have him.”
Nigeria will face Sudan in the semifinals of the competition on Wednesday.