Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr says his players showed great attitude in their AFCON 2019 quarterfinal win against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa at the Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday, reports Completesports.com.
Rohr also acknowledges the support of the home fans who came out in large numbers to support the Super Eagles in the game.
The three-time winners outplayed the Bafana Bafana for the majority of the game in what was unarguably their best performance of the competition so far.
The win meant the Super Eagles have now reached the semifinals of the AFCON finals for the 15th time in 18 appearances.
Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze put the Super Eagles ahead in the 27th minute, scoring after receiving a pass from Alex Iwobi.
Bongani Zungu levelled scores for South Africa in the 68th minute with a header that gave Daniel Akpeyi no chance.
William Troost-Ekong however scored the winning goal a minute before halftime.
“The support from the home (Egypt) fans was fantastic. They were fantastic all through the game, but my players also showed good attitude and we played very well especially in the first half which also gave them something to cheer about. I hope they continue to support us in the tournament,” Rohr stated during his interaction with the media after the game.
“The support was great, it is normal for them to support us after after South Africa removed Egypt from the competition.
“We knew facing South Africa will be very difficult for us. They gave us a good fight, but we were lucky to score in the final minutes.
The Super Eagles lost 2-0 at home to the Bafana Bafana in the qualifiers and Rohr admits the result had a positive effect on his side.
“It helped us change a lot of things and also refocus. We were able to beat Cameroon 4-0 during the World Cup qualifiers and have only lost to African opposition twice since then. I have to say thank you to Stuart Baxter for that,” he added.
“We had a plan and we knew South Africa would find it hard to replicate their performance against Egypt, so we had a slight advantage. We are happy with the win and now we must recover in time for our next opponents.”
The Super Eagles win face the winner of Cote d’Ivoire versus Algeria quarterfinal game on Sunday also at the Cairo International Stadium and Rohr is already anticipating a tough clash.
“Things will get more difficult in the competition now since we will meet Algeria or Côte d’Ivoire in the semifinal.”