Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr believes beating strongly fancied Algeria has set his team up to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. With only one qualifier from each group, Nigeria landed what most pundits believed to be the toughest, in Group B alongside Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia.
Nigeria ensured they remain top of the group and in prime position for Russia with six points from six after Saturday’s 3-1 home win. “It’s still a long way to go but we’re on the right path,” said the 63-year-old German Rohr, who posted his third straight win in charge of Nigeria.
“We had a great first half, but the second half was difficult,” he said. “We suffered in the second half, but the players were not nervous, they are professional. We played on the counter-attack when it became 2-1 and we got our third goal from a fast break. “We defended well. We were organised against Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani and we largely kept them quiet.” Rohr praised skipper John Obi Mikel, who has been frozen out at Premier League Chelsea. “He played like a true leader,” Rohr said of the midfielder, who crowned a strong display with a goal. “He commanded the respect of the team, marshalling and putting so much energy into the effort of the team.”