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Eguaveon: Win Vs Croatia Crucial To Super Eagles’ Progress In Russia

Eguaveon: Win Vs Croatia Crucial To Super Eagles’ Progress In Russia

By Adeboye Amosu:                                                                                                                                                                                              Former Super Eagles head coach, Augustine Eguaveon, says the team must strive to beat Croatia in their opening group game at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia to boost their chances of making it to the second round, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.

Gernot Rohr’s men will face the Croats who were semi-finalists at the 1998 World Cup finals in France on June 16 in Kaliningrad.


Debutants Iceland and two-time world champions Argentina who will be led by Barcelona star Lionel Messi are the other teams in  Group D.

Eguaveon, who was a member of the Super Eagles squad at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States of America reckons that it is important that the team start their campaign on a positive note at the mundial.

Zenith Ziva

“The game against Croatia will no doubt be a  crucial one for the Super Eagles in Russia. They need to win the game to make things easy for  themselves in the competition,” Eguaveon told CSN.

“Iceland are not as strong as Croatia and Argentina, but I strongly believe they won’t be an easy opposition.

“Argentina, we know are one of the favourites to win the competition with a lot of top quality stars including Lionel Messi.

“The task before the team is a tough one, but if they can beat Croatia in the first game, then they have a big chance of advancing into the next round.”

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  • Djeniko 3 years ago

    I remember Omeruo saying it. Efe Ambrose said it too. Our dear coach Gernot Rohr sounded the warning. Austin Eguavoen is repeating it again. This means that beating Croatia in our very first match is more than important if we want to make any headway in the WC. Are our warriors, the Super Eagles reading these hints? The reason for all these alarms is simple. Common sense tells us that losing your first match is like you are almost out of the competition especially if the strongest team in the group win their match. Even if they draw, you are still in trouble. Your morale will ebb. Unless you are the Germany or Brazil team. Only those two I can say may, just may, recover ground. Let us be frank Croatians are also thinking like we are ‘Nigeria must be beaten if we are to survive.’ Unfortunately many of their players are doing well with their different clubs. Their captain, Luka Modric with 1 goal, is the small man who is a world class midfield maestro for Champions league specialist Real Madrid. Another Real Madrid midfielder in the team is Ivan Rakitic with 2 goals. They have a deadly striker with 5 goals also with Real Madrid, Mario Mandzukic. The big question on the lip of all Nigerians is “Can We Beat Them? ” Yes we can!! They were with Iceland in the same group 1 in the European qualifying stage but they were the runners up to Iceland. They have to beat Greece 4-1 aggregate in the playoffs to come to the WC. Eguavoen misfired when he said Iceland are simple. No sir! Argentina will have their hands full when they take on Iceland. That match will be a draw or Iceland win if Argentina do not up their game. If Iceland could top their group then, Nigeria can beat Croatia or at worse a score draw. They are thinking likewise too. So, I am happy that the coaching crew of Super Eagles know that the hugh challenge before them.

  • Ayewoh Ikponmwosa 3 years ago

    @Djeniko check your records Ivan Rakitic plays for Barcelona not Real Madrid while Mario Mandzukic plays for Juventus not Real Madrid.I know each players of the super eagles are in constant touch with Coach Rohr who through communication and follow-up has began the process of instilling confidence in them which will boost the morales of the players.Rohr knows what a great performance with the super eagles will do to his CV as a coach and the professional career of the players.So they will in unity go for a successful world cup.