Super Eagles Head Coach Gernot Rohr admitted that the tactics employed by Algeria Head Coach Djamel Belmadi proved to be enough to neutralise his pacy wingers Ahmed Musa and Samuel Chukwueze.
Speaking at the post match shortly after the Desert Foxes had snatched the ticket to the final to confront Senegal on Friday, Rohr revealed that the intensity of pressing by the Algerian players restricted the Eagles from getting into their rhythm. Both Baghdad Bounedjah and Riyad Mahrez gave Kenneth Omeruo, Wilfred Ndidi and William Troost-Ekong a tough time.
”Algeria had a better pressing than us especially in the first half and in the midfield they had some very good situations and we had problems in the back of our defensive midfielders. They could have some opportunities,” Rohr stressed.
”The centre forward from Algeria (Bounedjah) gave a lot of problems to our centre backs and we could not find our wingers like we did the other day against South Africa.
”Today (Sunday) they could not give crosses and come on the side, I think they were well organised against us and we could not find a solution because the pressing was very strong,” recalled the Eagles Franco-German gaffer.
Rohr reiterated that the Super Eagles played better in the second half but the young midfielders still have room for improvement.
”It was better in the second half, we had some shots on target, we were unlucky to concede an own goal (by Troost-Ekong).
”I congratulate my players for this big fight against a very good team, we knew the tournament is becoming more and more difficult and today in the last minute they (Algeria) won it, and they deserve it.
Rohr however admitted that Eagles have a lot of work to do if they must raise their game to be counted amongst the best in the continent.
”We have to work much more, we are young. Our midfield is the youngest one with Ndidi, Etebo and Iwobi. They have to learn tactically, they have to make better communication better,” observed Rohr.
In their last 2019 Africa Cup of Nations fixture, the Super Eagles will face Tunisia in the third place play-off on Wednesday, July 17.