Russia 2018: Nigeria’s Chance Against Argentina, Iceland And Croatia
Nigeria News take a look at the Super Eagles foes at the next year world cup in Russia
With Friday FIFA World Cup draws for Russia 2018, Nigeria will be playing Argentina for the fifth time. Argentina has dominated Nigeria in the four games they had met in the past, winning all fours, though with slight merging.
Nigeria first qualified for world cup hosted by the United States in 1994 and topped the group that had Argentina, Bulgaria and Greece. Having beating Bulgaria in their first match by 3-0, Nigeria went out to defeat Greece by 2-0 but fell to the experience of Argentina and of course the antics of the legend Diego Maradona.
The Super Eagles lost their last group match by 1-2 against the two-time world champions Argentina in 1994.
Bulgaria, despite losing to Nigeria went all through to qualify for semifinals of the tournament while Nigeria crashed out at the second round against Italy that eventually played the final against Brazil.
The quality of teams Nigeria met in the tournament and their positions at the end of the USA 94 world cup showed how strong the Super Eagles were and how inexperience and disunity bungled them out of the tournament.
On Friday, Nigeria was drawn with Argentina, Iceland and Croatia in group D of the FIFA world cup to be hosted in Russia.
In 2002, Argentina beat Nigeria by a lone goal courtesy Gabriel Batistuta; in 2010, Argentina beat Nigeria by a lone goal and in Brazil 2014, the South America beat Nigeria by 3-2.
In all the matches, Argentina never found it easy to outclass Nigeria but the difference between the two had always been a kind of ingenuity from a special Argentine player.
It could be remembered that in 2010, the Super Eagles Goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama denied Lionel Messi from hitting the back of the net against Nigeria but the Barcelona forward showed class against Nigeria in Brazil when he scored two goals.
One from a set piece and another a bang from short range.
As Nigeria prepare for the Russia 2018, the Super Eagles would be going with a bit of confidence against the Argentines, having defeated the South America in a friendly by 4-2 recently.
The win is what Nigeria will be taking to Russia as it would make the Argentina be cautious playing the African despite parading stars like Lionel Messi, Angelo De-Maria and Kun Aguero.
While Argentina still poses a big threat to Nigeria, the Super Eagles must be wary of Iceland whose performance at the last European cup caused an upset for big teams like England and France.
Iceland would be coming to the world cup with the plan to prove a point that they are a force to reckon with in world football not only in Europe.
The Super Eagles would also have to be highly tactical against Croatia. Croatia came third in France 1998 world cup and also showed that they were teamed to beat at the last world cup in Brazil with the quality of players they paraded.
In 1998 Croatia did not only win the third place in France, its striker, Davor Suker, scored the highest number of goals to win the golden shoe.