Carl Ikeme Inspires Us To Make Russia 2018 - Rohr
Super Eagles goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme despite battling acute leukaemia, played a role in the team’s whitewash of Cameroon in Uyo on Friday.
The coach says he has given them the inspiration to qualify for Russia 2018.
"We pledged to win this match for Carl," said the Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr, after their impressive 4-0 win over African champions Cameroon in their home leg in Uyo on Friday.
Nigeria's Carl Ikeme was diagnosed with acute leukaemia during a routine medical at his club Wolverhampton Wanderers in July.
"He is in my thoughts and those of the coaches, players and officials all the time. I believe he will inspire us in Cameroon," Rohr added.
Rohr hopes his senior players Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel - who both scored on Friday - can replicate the form they showed against the Indomitable Lions in Uyo.
"Mikel is our leader and demonstrated that against Cameroon," said Rohr about the former Chelsea star who now plays for Tianjin TEDA in China.
"I was pleasantly surprised because he has played very little football for about six months. His efforts meant a lot to the team."
Rohr has also been boosted by the news that Nigeria have received clearance from Fifa for Chelsea defender Ola Aina to make his international debut against Cameroon.
Aina, who is on a season-long loan at English Championship side Hull City, was born in London to Nigerian parents.
Although he has a Nigerian passport, he has represented England at various junior levels and so needed to apply to change his international allegiance.
With three Group B matches to go, the Super Eagles have a maximum nine points - five ahead of Zambia, with Cameroon a further two points back and Algeria bottom on one point.
Nigeria face Cameroon in a World Cup qualifier on Monday.
Nigeria can become the first African qualifiers for the World Cup in Russia if they triumph in Yaounde and Zambia do not win in Algeria 24 hours later.