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Russia 2018 World Cup: After away victory, Eagles shifts focus on Algeria

iheanacho
— 10th October 2016

Rohr suspends celebration

FROM GEORGE ALUO, NDOLA

Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr has heaped praises on his wards, following their 2-1 away win against Zambia’s Chipolopolo at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Ngola, Zambia in the Group B opening match of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier, but was quick to say the team would not celebrate yet.

Rohr, who had his first real test with the match against Zambia, told members of the media at the post match conference that he is glad the Eagles played as a unit. “My boys fought like wounded lions and won as a team. The entire team played like a unit from the goalkeeping area down to the attack.”

He gave special thumbs up to goalkeeper Carl Ikeme whose saves helped the team a lot.

“This win calls for celebration but it is too early for that now because this is just the beginning of this campaign. We would save the celebrations as we shift our focus on our next game against Algeria.

He thanked the Zambian fans for being very friendly and cheering the Eagles out of the stadium.

Zambian coach on his part said they are building a new team and urged his countrymen to be patient.

Super Eagles captain, Mikel gave kudos to the young lads in the team, Iheanacho and Iwobi. He said they are talented and ready to go places.

Goals from Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi and Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho ensured Nigeria won in their World Cup qualifier against Zambia on Sunday.

The two 20-year-old strikers scored in the opening half with the Zambian President, Edgar Lungu among those in attendance.

Iwobi had pounced on a weak headed clearance and slammed the ball past goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene from close range in the 32nd minute  while a neat one-touch passing set-up Iheanacho 10 minutes later and he rounded Mweene before calmly slotting the ball into the net just before half-time.

Zambia dominated the second period, and a blunder from Nigeria defender, Kenneth Omeruo allowed veteran striker Collins Mbesuma to set up a tense finish when he pulled a goal back with 19 minutes left.

NFF President, Amaju Pinnick said: “We commend the efforts of the players and the technical crew, and we thank the Honourable Minister of Sports for his words of encouragement before the match. We are happy with the three points but it is a marathon, not a sprint.

“We still have five matches to play. We will take it one match at a time. Next stop is ‘Operation Beat Algeria.”

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