Nigeria’s Super Eagles have placed their lot in a unfavourable position and also to the bottom of the table as they were whipped by Croatia national team as they could not give answers to the 2-0 puzzle thrown at them.
Coach Gernot Rohr lamented at the end of the game: “We’re really disappointed we lost this game. Croatia were the better team. We could have come back into it in the second half after we started very well before the penalty against us. We’re a young team, we’re learning and I hope in the next game against Iceland we will do much better.”
The Super Eagles came into the first half of the match clueless and unsure of what they could do to give the croatia a run for their money.
The Croatians were obvious really desirous of the victory, with Ivan Perisic’s shot flying over the bar in the 14th minute and Andrej Kramaric’s shot inches wide of the far side upright two minutes later
Croatia took the game in hand in the 32nd minute when Kramaric at the far side dived to head down a right flank corner kick.
The ball hit part of Oghenekaro Etebo’s body to roll past goalkeeper Francis Uzoho’s hands into the net for the opening goal.
With the hope that they would get a better fighting chance with Iceland, Super Eagles have failed to redeem the image of the African Continent.
Alex Iwobi‘s 65th Minute substitution for Ahmed Musa, made not difference for the Nigerian Side as they failed to get reasonable chances in front of goal.
William Ekong’s 70th minute infringement on Mario Mandzukic earned Croatia the penalty which Luka Modric scored by sending Uzoho the other way.
It looked all over by then, with the Eagles now disjointed in their moves and the 71st minute entry of Kelechi Iheanacho for Ighalo not making any impact.
Meanwhile, Argentina was held to a 1-1 draw by Iceland who are making their first debut at the Mundial.
Disappointing Lional Messi could not compose him nerves to bury a penalty kick.
Nigeria will now face Iceland in Volgograd on June 22 in their second match, while Croatia take on Argentina in the group’s other game.