Super Eagles star Alex Iwobi counting on World Cup experience for AFCON qualification

Super Eagles star Alex Iwobi counting on World Cup experience for AFCON qualification

- Arsenal attacker Alex Iwobi believes Nigeria have learnt valuable lessons in the recently concluded Russia 2018 World Cup

- Gernor Rohr's men crashed out at the very fist stage of the championship after gathering just three points in three matches

- They face Seychelles in the African Cup of Nations qualifier in September

Nigeria international Alex Iwobi is hoping Nigeria can build on their Russia 2018 experience in their future competitions.

The three time African champions crashed out at the very early stage having lost the last opportunity to reach the round of 16 phase to Argentina.

Coach Gernot Rohr kicked off their 2018 campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Croatia, but bounced back with a 2-0 win over Iceland.

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However, their inability to steal a point from their third group game against Argentina stopped them from reaching the knockout stage of the championship.

Meanwhile, the Arsenal attacker believes the team is young and have learnt a lot of lessons in their sojourn in Russia.

Up next for the Super Eagles is the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification against Seychelles in September, and Iwobi wants the team to make their experience count in the game.

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"The squad is young and we picked important lessons that will hopefully help us going forward," the Arsenal forward told BBC Sport.

"Attention will soon shift to the Nations Cup and we must make our World Cup lessons count."

Nigeria last appeared at the African football showpiece in 2013 when they won the tournament under late Stephen Keshi in South Africa.

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They have missed two straight AFCON competitions and they have started the 2019 qualification with a 2-0 defeat to South Africa.

"We had a lot of hopes and believe that we could do well. We are very proud of ourselves and are going to take the positives of course.

"We are just unfortunate about the last minute goal that came against Argentina led to a defeat that knocked us out of the group. We are taking positives but we are very happy with what we did.

The Nigerian fans had hoped that Iwobi would play a key role in Russia but were left disappointed that the Arsenal player was only given a half against Croatia and late substitute appearances against Iceland and Argentina.

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"It's not just me or my tournament, it's Nigeria's tournament," he added.

"The coach didn't put me in that position because he wanted to try something new, try something else, so I had no problems because at the end of the day it is what the manager decides is what goes."

The 21-year-old broke into the Super Eagles team in 2015 and has gone ahead to make 22 appearances for the country's senior national team - scoring five goals in the process.

He represented England at under-16, 17 and 18 level before switching allegiance to Nigeria to follow in the footsteps of his uncle Austin Jay-Jay Okocha.

NAIJ.com previously reported that Alex Iwobi revealed that he was close to tears after scoring the winning goal against Zambia that sent the Super Eagles to Russia 2018.

The Super Eagles needed a victory against the Chipolopolo’s to book their place in the Mundial and the Arsenal winger’s goal in the 73rd minute ensured the West Africans giants booked their passage with a game to spare.

Super Eagles in Russia 2018: The First Taste of Failure - NAIJ.com TV

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Source: Naija.ng

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