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Algeria defeat good test for Eagles – Rohr

Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has admitted that his team’s 1-0 defeat to African champions, Algeria, on Friday was a good test for his young side, Saturday PUNCH reports.

The Eagles lost 1-0 to the Fennecs at the Worthesee Stadium, Klagenfurt, Austria on Friday courtesy of Ramy Bensebaini’s fifth minute strike, but Rohr believes there were lots of positives from the defeat.

“This is a very good test for us,” Rohr said after the game on Friday via the Super Eagles Twitter handle.

“There are positives to pick from a tough game like this. Now we have to recover well and start to plan for the next game on Tuesday against another tough team.”

Bensebaini poked home from close range after the Eagles defence failed to clear their lines from a corner kick.

Thereafter, the Desert Foxes’ were clearly the better side, as the Eagles struggled for pace and stability following the absence of midfield duo Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo.

The defeat is the 11th the Eagles have suffered under Gernot Rohr. It also ended their five-match unbeaten run of three wins and two draws, since they lost to Algeria in the semi-finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Everton forward Alex Iwobi had the Eagles’ best chance in the 21st-minute with a long range effort that went just wide.

In the 35th minute, Paul Onuachu’s flick off a cross from Zaidu Sanusi narrowly missed target.

Said Benhrama and Andy Delort were at the forefront of the Desert Foxes’ onslaught, with the latter forcing a brilliant save from the impressive Maduka Okoye with a 25-yard free-kick early on.

In the second half, the Eagles failed to record a single short on target despite the introduction of Leicester City forward for Paul Onuachu, as the Algerians piled on the pressure.

Okoye made another smart save to deny Farid Bolaya a goal.

The 21-year-old keeper made four fantastic saves including palming away a dangerous effort at the near post.

Despite the defeat, Rohr has some positives to take home.

Sparta Rotterdam keeper Okoye will definitely stake a claim for the team’s number one position with his saves, while returning right-back Tyrone Ebuehi was also impressive in Klagenfurt.

Hoffenheim defender Kevin Akpoguma, Sanusi Zaidu, Samson Tijani and Frank Onyeka were handed their first international caps.

The Eagles will take on Tunisia in their next friendly on Tuesday at the Jacques Lemmans Arena in Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria.

PUNCH!

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