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Top 5 memorable wins of Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles tenure

On Sunday 12th December, the inevitable happened as the hammer fell on Coach Gernot Rohr with the Nigerian Football Federation announcing the sack of the Franco-German tactician. Rumours of a possible sack heightened last month after Nigeria secured its place in the final round of World Cup qualifying but what followed was an eerie silence on the matter, only to be shattered a few days to Christmas.

Rohr ends his tenure as the longest-serving Super Eagles coach, taking charge of the team from August 2016 till December 2021. The 68-year-old’s record reads 58 games, 31 wins, 13 draws and 14 losses. We will look at the five most memorable victories during Rohr’s tenure as Super Eagles manager.

1. Nigeria Vs. Cameroon (4-0) 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Rohr’s first brief was qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and after two consecutive victories over Zambia and Algeria in late 2016, the German coach got closer to delivering on that mandate with a 4-0 victory over the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon on Matchday 3 of qualification.

Goals from Odion Ighalo, John Mikel Obi, Victor Moses and Kelechi Iheanacho secured Rohr’s joint-biggest victory. Coming after suffering his first defeat as Super Eagles’ manager, a 2-0 reversal at home to South Africa, Rohr needed a statement of intent from his boys and they delivered it against Hugo Broos’ men.

2. Nigeria Vs. Argentina (4-2) Friendly

With World Cup qualification in the bag and no international competitions on the horizon, the Super Eagles started a sequence of six friendly matches between November 2017 and June 2018 with a rousing 4-2 victory over Argentina.

Despite being friendly, the manner of the victory made it one of the most memorable wins under Rohr with the Super Eagles overturning a 2-0 deficit to win the game. Goals from Iheanacho, Bryan Idowu and a brace from Alex Iwobi canceled out Ever Banega and Sergio Aguero’s efforts for the Albiceleste.

3. Nigeria Vs. Iceland (2-0) 2018 World Cup Group Stage

Nigeria’s and Rohr’s only victory at the Russia 2018 World Cup came in the second match of the group against World Cup debutants Iceland. An expected victory but otherwise dismal performances against Croatia and Argentina mean this is the only match Nigerians can look back to at the last football Mundial.

Ahmed Musa scored both goals for the Super Eagles, keeping Nigerians hopes for a possible progression to the knockout stages alive. But of course, Rohr’s side went on to lose the all-important final group match to Argentina as the South Americans qualified for the next stage at the expense of Nigeria.

4. Nigeria Vs. Cameroon (3-2) 2019 African Cup of Nations

Every match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon is certain to serve up an interesting encounter. As Rohr faced Cameroon for the second time with the Eagles’, a place in the Quarterfinals was on the line.

Ighalo opened the scoring for Rohr’s side in the 19th minute but the Super Eagles found themselves behind at the break with quick-fire goals from Stephane Bahoken and Clinton N’jie turning the tide against Nigeria. The Super Eagles were able to secure the victory through another Ighalo goal and an Iwobi winner. Rohr would go on to win bronze at the end of the tournament.

Victor Osimhen and Ahmed Musa scored the goals that put down the Liberians with excellent attacking play from Nantes’ Simon Moses creating a host of chances for the Eagles. The Eagles paved the way for only a draw required in the last game against Cape Verde three days later, a result that Rohr duly delivered and which has become his final act with the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

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