Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has explained why he delayed in making substitutions during Nigeria’s 2-1 loss to Argentina in the 2018 World Cup fixture on Tuesday evening.
Messi had put his side ahead with a 14-minute strike.
But Victor Moses levelled up for the Eagles through a penalty kick six minutes into the second half.
However, Rojo gave the La Albiceleste their first win of the tournament with a clinical finish less than 10 mins to the final whistle.
Apart from introducing striker, Odion Ighalo at half-time, Rohr had to wait until the 90th minute before making his second change, bringing out Kenneth Omeruo for Alex Iwobi, then made a third substitution in the second minute of injury time.
The German tactician disclosed that Leicester City striker, Kelechi Iheanacho was not fit to start the game and his club teammate, Ahmed Musa refused to be subbed out, with the forward assuring the coach he was okay to play for 90 minutes.
”There was a change already at half-time, so you cannot say it’s late changes. Then we did so well, we had one day less after the difficult match with Iceland and Argentina played the day before,” Rohr said at the post-match press conference.
”I wanted to bring out Ahmed Musa but he said he wanted to stay and was fit to finish the match, we were waiting for the end of the match to make two other changes, everybody did well, nobody had to go out.
”If I had seen what happened in the first half, perhaps I would not have started with the same team because one of my players was not really fit and he went out halftime but you never can know.
”It’s possible one player in the starting XI is not fit, we have to accept that and make the change.”
Rohr’s men were eliminated from the World Cup after finishing third in Group D with three points.