By Adeboye Ajayi in St. Petersburg
Lionel Messi, the Argentine captain, has referred to the Nigeria encounter as `a difficult one’.
This is even as Gernot Rohr, Super Eagles Technical Adviser, said his team lost their last Group match at the World Cup match against Argentina to an experienced side.
Speaking at post match conference shortly after his team beat Nigeria 2-1 at St. Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday, Messi who agreed that the match was balanced praised the Eagles for their gallant showing.
‘‘It was a very balanced game, we were able to control the first half, we had more possession, they tried to create chances around after the first goal.
‘ ‘We thought the second half would be similar but they scored a penalty and that made things more difficult, we got nervous, we had pressure as time goes faster,’’ he said.
Messi, who became the third Argentine player to score in three World Cups, following Diego Maradona and Gabriel Batistuta, accepted that his side had to battle hard against Nigeria.
He, however, said that they were aware of the threat posed by France their next opponent, saying: ‘‘We know France is a good side and we will find solution to their antics,’’ he said.
Rohr, speaking at a post-match news conference after the Super Eagles lost 1-2 to Argentina on Tuesday, said:
“It was a big disappointment. Even though my players played their best, they lost to the opponents due to inexperience of my players.
”My team is a very young side compared to the Argentines, who play in the big leagues all over the world. You can talk of the experience of Lionel Messi.
”But my team is a very wonderful one; disciplined, young and very interesting to work with. They will be ready in the next World Cup when most of them would have matured for big time football like the World Cup,” he said.
Messi opened scores in the 14th minute of the first half, while Victor Moses leveled up via a penalty in the 51st minute of the encounter.
However, Ever Banega, wearing jersey No. 7 rapped up the game for the Argentines to move forward into the second round of the competition.
Rohr, who promised to continue with the team inspite of the ouster, however promised that the team would be better during the AFCON games.
”In four years the team will be very strong and I would love to stay with them because they are disciplined and fantastic,” he said.