Gernot Rohr has revealed he had a change of heart and picked Joe Aribo because his father was watching from the stands when the Super Eagles took on the Squirrels of Benin Republic in Match Day 1 of the African Cup of Nations 2020 qualifiers.
The Rangers ace helped the Super Eagles beat Benin 2-1 as he continued to impress for his country following his debut earlier this season.
Rohr had earlier insisted he wouldn’t consider Aribo from the start because he only arrived in Uyo, where the game was being staged, a few hours before kick off, having played and scored in Rangers’ 2-0 Premiership win at Livingston on Sunday.
But a familiar face watching from the stands changed his stance.
He said: “Joe Aribo told me he was not tired, despite the long flights to get here and I have confidence in my players when they tell me they are ready to play.
“Also his father was here at the stadium and this was only his second time coming into the country, so it was important for him to play.
“And I think we can all be happy he was able to play because he contributed a lot to this win.”
Aribo has become an instant hit with Nigeria and netted in the win over Brazil in September.