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I Won’t Blame Akpeyi For Eagles Defeat — Rohr

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr says he won ’ t blame goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi for the team ’ s 2- 0 defeat to Bafana Bafana in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo on Saturday.

Tokelo Rantie’ s 54th minute near post header past the South Africa -based Akpeyi and Percy Tau’ s effort , who beat the offside trap, rounded the keeper outside the box before racing to slot home, sealed a memorable win for the visitors.

would lose a competitive game to their opponents and Rohr insists the entire team and not Akpeyi should take the blame for the defeat.

“ I won ’ t blame the keeper for the defeat, we lose as a team . The first goal, a header came from the right , through a cross from the South African right -back . The second had our keeper beaten from outside the box but we should have had a man marking the scorer . The whole team lost, I can’ t blame a single player. ”

Rohr added that his players exhausted their energy in the first half of the match .

He said his young players made so many moves to score goals in the first half , but were overpowered by the experienced South African team in the second half .

He said , “ We had difficulties in finishing the match because we made so many efforts in the first half while some of our players were tired in the second half . We tried to open the wings and bring power to the team but unfortunately it did not yield fruits.

“ I have trust in these boys because they played well in the first half but they could not score . We win and lose together. I think the next game with Cameroun will be very interesting. It will be better, much better. ”

Meanwhile, South African coach, Staurt Baxter, said his plan to ensure that the home team did not score in the first 20 minutes of the game worked .

He said “ We opened up the game in the first half but unfortunately we did not score . Beating Nigeria is very interesting. Nigeria are a very good side but my boys prevented them from scoring . We are trying to develop our boys and expose them . ”

The Eagles now walk a tight rope as the result places them in third position in Group E of the AFCON qualifiers for Cameroon 2019. Leaders Libya had on Friday defeated Seychelles 5- 1 while Bafana and Seychelles are second and fourth respectively .

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