Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho put the smiles on the face of Gernot Rohr on Saturday encounter between Nigeria and Tanzania with a super strike.
The hard fought match ended with a 1-0 win over Tanzania.
The win ensured that Rohr got his first win as coach of Super Eagles.
Iheanacho stunning strike from 25 yards in the 81st minute was enough to earn Nigeria a win in their last game of in 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Nigeria did qualify for the 2017 AFCON even with the win.
But it will serve as a morale booster for the national team who will turn their attentions to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Meanwhile, the new Super Eagles’ tactician retained John Obi Mikel as captain to his squad, insisting his influence was felt at the Rio Olympics.
The new Eagles’ gaffer described the Chelsea midfielder as natural leader, hence will continue as Super Eagles’ skipper.
The tactician said the midfielder’s impact was felt at the Rio Olympics and wants him to replicate same for the country’s senior national team.
“Mikel is a natural leader,” Rohr told the media
“His experience and leadership is exceptional. I saw him play at the Olympics and I’m sure I want him to continue as my captain.
“He spoke with me on the phone and he is here again when he should be resting from the rigours of the Olympics.”
The former Gabon and Niger national teams coach also disclosed that he hopes to combine experience and energy of the younger players in his team to achieve desired result.
“It’s a new beginning. I see the hunger in the younger players.
“I see belief and I’m happy to lead. I’m confident we’ll make it to the World Cup.
“Nothing is certain but we are motivated to do well. Not qualifying for Afcon will be a blessing in disguise as we’ll be motivated to work harder than ever.”
In another related development, the new coach has said he will soon meet with Vincent Enyeama to discuss a comeback by the Lille goalkeeper to the Super Eagles.
The former Nigeria skipper Enyeama had quit international football in October after a spat with then Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh.
His place has since been taken by Carl Ikeme, who features for Premier league side Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Rohr has been handed the task of qualifying Nigeria for the 2018 World Cup and he has maintained the country will need their best players to achieve the goal.
“I live in France and I know Enyeama. He’s a good player and I do not know why he is no longer playing for Nigeria,” said the Franco-German coach.
“We have spoken and perhaps I hope to meet him soon because we need our best players for us to have the best chance to qualify for the World Cup.”
Nigeria is drawn in a tough qualifying group for Russia 2018 with Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia.
They begin their qualifying campaign on October 3 in Zambia, before the host Algeria the following month.
“It’s my mission to qualify Nigeria to Russia 2018,” he said.
“Nigeria has the best players in Africa and I have the German mentality to bring good organisation and discipline to this team.”
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