FLY, EAGLES, FLY: 5 Reasons Nigeria Should Beat Croatia On Saturday

FLY, EAGLES, FLY: 5 Reasons Nigeria Should Beat Croatia On Saturday

With the Super Eagles set to face Croatia in their opening Group D fixture at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Saturday, Completesportsnigeria.com’s ADEBOYE AMOSU gives five reasons why he believes Gernot Rohr’s men will triumph over the Croats…

The Super Eagles will head into Saturday’s Group D clash against Croatia as the underdogs at least going by their not-too-impressive showings in their last three games against Democratic Republic of Congo, England and Czech Republic.
Gernot Rohr’s men were completely outplayed in the first half of their 2-1 friendly defeat against England. Though they improved after the break, they were lucky not to have conceded more than two goals in that half.
Against Czech Republic, they were poor all through and their unimpressive build-up has lowered expectations ahead of the game.
But the Super Eagles have done well mostly when they have their backs against the wall in the past and will draw from that never-say-die ‘Nigerian Spirit’ which has propelled Nigerian teams and athletes to achieve the unthinkable.

The Super Eagles have a fair record against European teams at the World Cup. They have met 11 times and have recorded five wins, five losses and one draw.
They have also  faced European teams twice in their opening fixtures at the World Cup and won both.
The West Africans defeated Bulgaria 3-0  in their debut game at the mundial in USA’94 and recorded a 3-2 win against Spain four years later in France. Also, all of Nigeria’s World Cup wins have been against European teams.

The Croats have lost their last three opening games at the World Cup, which could have a  psychological effect on them. They have also managed to score once in the three games.
They lost 1-0 against Mexico in Korea/Japan 2002, 1-0 to Brazil in Germany 2006 and 3-1 to the Brazilians four years ago.

Prior to their debut appearance at the World Cup in United States of America in 1994, the Super Eagles lost to Sweden and Romania in their main friendlies  before the finals but put that aside to record an impressive outing at the competition.
The team, then led by Dutchman Clemens Westerhof, were close to eliminating Italy in the second round before going down to a 2-1 defeat and were later voted the second most entertaining side of the competition behind champions Brazil.
History repeated itself four years later with Bora Mulitovic-led team losing all three pre-World Cup friendlies against against Germany (1-0), Yugoslavia( 3-0) and Netherlands (5-1).
But they wowed the whole world by edging out a star-studded Spain 3-2 in their opening France ’98 game. Spain then that paraded the likes of Raul Gonzalez, Fernando Hiero, Luis Enrique.

Close followers of the team will agree that this is one of the best preparations this team have had ahead of a major competition in recent time. A well laid out programme from Uyo to Port Harcourt and later Austria devoid of usual fights over bonuses and allowances will no doubt work in the team’s favour.
There is also unity in the team’s camp and the players have bonded well too.

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  • Naija Man 3 years ago

    Super Eagles are not likely to qualify from that group. Their poor showing in the friendlies is a sign of what to expect at the World Cup.

  • The SUPER EAGLES will certainly qualify from this so called GROUP OF DEATH.Naija Man,how can you write off your Country just like that. We are talking about Nigeria here. I believe you saw the analysis given above is in our favour. God bless, Nigeria!

    • Murphy 3 years ago

      I admire the spirit of naija in you. Keep being an inspiration.

  • We definitely gonna qualify from the group, but i cant predict beyond that.God bless Nigeria, God bless Super Eagle.

  • Judging the boys by their poor performance during the recent friendly us a big mistake which I hoped Croatia too will make.
    They played poorly cos they were experimenting with new formations.

  • Kweli 3 years ago

    I will not make any predictions, but only to hope that the nightmares we saw in the friendlies are behind the team. As a Kenyan, I am happy to share my best wishes for the Super Eagles. Nothing would please me more than seeing more than two African teams in the KO rounds.

  • Omoregbee 3 years ago

    Nigeria will progress from that death group by God’s grace to S.Final. I am very positive that will shall progress from that group D.

  • Abdul andah 3 years ago

    Something tells me that Nigeria will qualify from this group!
    I heard balogun is a major doubt for the match at kaliningrad…

  • JOHNLIGHT 3 years ago


  • I wish Naija the greatest luck