2026 W’Cup qualifier: Rohr proves NFF wrong with Cheetahs’ win over S’Eagles

By Francis Ajuonuma with Agency report

Gernot Rohr yesterday proved to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) that they were wrong to have sacked him from the Super Eagles job in 2021 for no just cost, after he guided the Cheetahs of Benin Republic to beat the three-time African champions in a 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan.

Prior to the encounter, the Cheetahs have always been at the receiving end against the Super Eagles, losing in all nine matches they have come up against Nigeria, but it was a different song yesterday with Rohr in charge as they won 2-1 to further sink the Super Eagles down in Group C and put their 2026 World Cup dream in huge doubt.

Rohr was fired by the NFF on December 12, 2021, despite qualifying Nigeria for the 2021 Africa Nation’s Cup and final round of qualifying for the World Cup playoffs, a decision that was not fair to the German coach.

Raphael Onyedika put the Eagles in front after 28 minutes when he cleverly chipped the ball past goalkeeper Marcel Dandjinou from the edge of the box, after a good pass by Samuel Chukwueze.

However, the Cheetahs were back on level terms nine minutes later, when Jodel Dossou profited from a defensive error by Calvin Bassey and Semi Ajayi to race through and flick past an advancing goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali.

Seven minutes later, the Cheetahs were in front when the Nigerian defence ball-watched from a corner kick, exposing Nwabali once more.

Several changes made in the second half by Coach Finidi George failed to have any meaningful impact as the Eagles simply failed to find the back of the opponents’ net.

Defeat means the Eagles remain on three points from four matches and are condemned to winning all their remaining six games of the qualification series to have any chance of reaching the finals in Canada, USA and Mexico in two years’ time.

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