Super Eagles Throw Nigeria Into Jubilation, After Beating Iceland 2-0
Nigeria News takes a look at the match between Super Eagles and Iceland and the jubilation afterwards.
It took two goals by Ahmed Musa for the rejuvenation of Super Eagles on Friday to defeat fearless Iceland at the ongoing World Cup in Russia.
The Eagles soared high to rewrite a battered record against Croatia. Boastful Iceland had a penalty but failed to convert it in the 86 minutes.
Only a few Nigerians, including football analysts around the world, had given Nigeria any chance in a group D that comprises two-time world cup winner, Argentina and Croatia.
Called it a match between the underdog Iceland and the young inexperienced Nigeria team, the Super Eagles played a high professional football to the amazement of the spectators and commentators that graced the game.
Having lost 0-2 to a better organized Croatians, the Super Eagles were cautious in their approach against the Vikings who were more ferocious in the first half with six shots at goal while Nigeria had zero shot at goal.
It was a descent match, which came as predicted by the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr. He said in the pre-match press conference that the Eagles would not lose the match.
He stated that the worst that could happen was a draw against Iceland if the players would adhere to tactics and instruction.
It paid off with a new formation and new roles for many of the players. Against Iceland, Rohr started Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa as the duo striker. He benched Odion Ighalo and played John Obi Mikel in defensive midfield to subdue the creativity of the Iceland midfielders.
Chelsea right fullback, Victor Moses operated from the right as a winger and showed class to dissolve the well-organized defence of Iceland.
Eagles’ performance threw Lagos and football fans into jubilation, including those who had written the team off. However, Nigeria still has a higher mountain to climb against Argentina who is condemned to win to proceed to the second round.
Argentina suffered great defeat against Croatia, losing 0-3 on Thursday and would have to play their heart out to beat Nigeria if they must qualify from the group.
The Argentina legend, Diego Maradona wept as his side lost to the Croats. Two matches, former world footballer, Lionel Messi has not been able to find the back of the net and will have to redeem his image perhaps against Nigeria.
Croatia has qualified, after beating Nigeria 2-0, Argentina 3-0. The Croats will play their final match against Iceland.
Speaking about Nigeria’s victory on Friday, one of the football lovers in Lagos, who simply identified himself as Bode described the Eagles’ performance as miraculous.
He said, “I did not give Nigeria any chance before the match and as I’m talking to you now, everything still looks like a dream to me. Judging by the woeful performance against Croatia, I have vowed not to watch the Eagles again in this world cup but today I’m surprised with the performance.”
This is world cup, anything can happen, another football fan said. Mr Ramos Ajala whom with his friends bought three cartons of beer for his neighbours to celebrate the victory said that the Eagles would defeat Argentina and qualify for the second round.