Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr admitted his decision to make late substitutions in the 2-1 defeat by Argentina in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday contributed to the Super Eagles’ early exit from the Russia 2018 World Cup.
Rohr took off Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho and Kenneth Omeruo and brought in Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Simeon Nwankwo.
The former Gabon manager, who is been criticised for the decisions, expressed his disappointment over Nigeria’s elimination from the World Cup despite giving the South American giants a good fight at the packed Saint Petersburg Stadium.
“We are very disappointed,” the 64-year-old German coach told reporters at a post-match press conference.
“My team gave their best. They played a very good second half and missed qualifying by just a few minutes.
“Argentina have great players and they were pushing, pushing, pushing. This is championship level and we are not ready for that now. It was also down to a little bit of luck and we didn’t have it.
“I am proud of my team. We lacked experience. Such games build character and in a few years you will see a very strong team.”
“I wanted to bring out Ahmed Musa but he said he wanted to stay and was fit to finish the match. We were waiting to make two other changes. Everybody was playing well and nobody had to go out.