Nigeria Coach Gernot Rohr Wants Away Victory In Zambia

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

Nigeria national team coach Gernot Rohr expects victory from his charges this weekend against Zambia in Ndola, as the Super Eagles begin their group stage run in the third round of African World Cup qualifying.

Nigeria face the Chipolopolo of Zambia on Sunday in a Group B World Cup qualifier, as the final 20 African teams with a chance to qualify for Russia 2018 beginning the group stage this weekend.

Group B is considered by many as the ‘group of death’, as the other opponents that Nigeria and Zambia will face include Algeria and Cameroon.

The Indomitable Lions are experienced World Cup campaigners, while the Fennec Foxes, ranked number two on the continent, have also made a name for themselves as frequent World Cup qualifiers.

This will make qualifying from the group a tough task, as only the group winner will secure a ticket to the next showpiece competition in Russia two years from now.

Gernot Rohr aware of tough Zambia

The Super Eagles know that they will need to begin their third round of qualifying on a positive note if they are to stand a good chance of representing the African continent as one of five teams in 2018.

Their German coach is well aware of the difficulty that awaits, and has called on his players to return home with a victory over the Chipolopolo on a pitch that he does not favour.

“We go to Zambia to win. It will be difficult because Zambia have a good team and like the three other teams in our group, any one of us could qualify for the World Cup,” Rohr admitted, according to Vanguard.

“We watched them against Kenya (in an AFCON qualifier last month) and the pitch in Ndola is not good, but it will be the same for both teams,” he added.

The Nigerians have most of their star players available, including the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa and John Mikel Obi, but Victor Moses, Leon Balogun and Isaac Success are unavailable through injury.

The coach acknowledged the fact that the trio will be missing, but he believes that others within the squad will show their ability in the absence of the injured players.

“We will be missing Balogun, Victor Moses and Isaac Success, but we’re a team and the other players will have their chance to show their qualities,” the coach said.

The five African qualifiers for Russia 2018 will be known by November 2017, when all of the six group stage matches will have been played.