Rohr: Nigeria, Algeria clash more than a friendly

Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, says he is not out for revenge against Algeria, when both sides lock horns in a friendly at the 30,000-capacity Worthesee Stadium, Klagenfurt, Austria on Friday (today), but insists his side will not take the encounter as a friendly affair.

African champions Algeria defeated Nigeria 2-1 in the semi-final of the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt, on the way to their second continental title.

It is the first of two games the Eagles will play in Austria, with the three-time African champions battling Tunisia on Tuesday.

However, Rohr says the Algeria game is more than a friendly and hopes to end the North Africans’ 18-game unbeaten run.

“It is not a friendly, it is not revenge, it is a test game,” Rohr said in the pre-match press conference on Zoom monitored by one of our correspondents.

“We know this Algerian team; they are unbeaten in their last 18 games. Of course they want to continue their unbeaten run, but we would like to stop it, but we know it won’t be easy.

“They’ve made a lot of progress since we met them in Uyo. For the moment, they are No. 1 in Africa. Even if they are ranked No. 4, for me, they are the best country in Africa. So, it will be a very big test for us.”

The Eagles gaffer added, “We are preparing for the AFCON and the World Cup. These two games are very interesting. It is like a test for our players. It is not the most important but it is a preparation for the future.”

The Franco-German also stated that Napoli striker Victor Osimhen’s absence would be felt in both games.

“The absence of Osimhen is a very important one because he is a goal scorer and he is the leader of the attack. He has been doing so well in the last games not just with us but for his new club as well.”

Meanwhile, if the Eagles triumph today, it will be Rohr’s 21st win as Eagles coach.

The 67-year-old has been in charge of the Eagles in 37 official games, winning 20 and recording seven draws and 10 defeats.

The Newsmen reports that the Eagles games against Togo, Corsica and Liberia were regarded as exhibition games as more than six substitutes were used. Rohr, who extended his contract with the Nigeria Football Federation in June, until December 2022, is also aiming to record his second win against the Foxes, and will be hoping to extend his unbeaten run to six.

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