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Russia 2018: Super Eagles Gift Croatia Two Goals In Group D Defeat

Russia 2018: Super Eagles Gift Croatia Two Goals In Group D Defeat

By Nnamdi Ezekute in Kaliningrad:

Super Eagles of Nigeria were beaten by dominant Croatia 2-0 in their opening Group D game at the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Saturday.

Croatia profited from two gifts from the Super Eagles to claim the crucial win and go top of Group D.

A goal in each half, first an own goal by Oghenekaro Etebo and a penalty coolly converted by Luka Modric gave Croatia their first opening group game win since France 1998.

Croatia now top the group on three points which Argentina and Iceland are joint-second on one point each with the Super Eagles bottom.

Croatia had the first real chance on 14 minutes through Ivan Perisic whose volley went just over the bar after good interchange of passes.

A few minutes later Andrei Kramaric tried his luck from range which went just wide.

Croatia’s pressure from set-pieces on paid 32 minutes as Mario Mandzukic’s header from Luka Modric corner came off Etebo and rolled into the net.

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Minutes later Alex Iwobi smashed a low shot from the edge of Croatia’s box but his effort was blocked by Dejan Lovren.

The Super Eagles had their first shot on target in the 60th minute but Ighalo’s header from Bryan Idowu’s cross did not disturb the Croatia keeper.

Croatia went 2-0 up on 71 minutes through Modric who converted from the penalty spot after William Troost-Ekong needlessly grappled with Mandzukic inside the box.

In the 79th minute, Croatia almost extended their lead but Francis Uzoho saved the Super Eagles blushes as he palmed away a dangerous cross.

Croatia should have extended their lead late in the game but Uzoho did well enough to stop Mateo Kovacic who was clean through on goal.

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  • A very appalling performance by the SuperEagles. Rohr is not a sound coach. He does not learn from experience. The friendlies showed that his approach was wrong, but he did not change his tactics. Same old-fashioned play without a sting. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result. This man is just toying with the emotion of Nigerians.

    • Mykel 3 years ago

      You are right on point, rohr should be sacked immediately after the world cup, he doesn’t do his homework and doesn’t know his players abilities, constantly playing Mikel in number 10 when the young man hasnt got d kegs anymore. People have told him to play iwobi in that position, I expected him to at least give it a a try for at least 10 minutes and see how it goes, he stands there looking confused and doing nothing.

  • Naija Man 3 years ago

    Those of us who understood the mediocrity in this team warned before the World Cup but we were castigated. Nigeria will bottom out on that table and return home without a single point or goal.
    Rohr was quoted saying he had no regrets about his team selection after the Super Eagles Team B faired very well against Atl Madrid. Well, I guess he was saying that to console himself. You all can now see what corruption and bribery can cause you.
    Let them play their 3 games and return home.

  • Ikechukwu 3 years ago

    It is very glaring that Rohr does not understand the potentials of the players he has. How on earth can you play Mikel upfront and keep Etebo behind. The formation he adopted was not giving the required result and changes could not be made by the coach. This is ridiculous. If we don’t make it out of the group stage, Rohr should leave immediately.

  • Chima E Samuels 3 years ago

    Lol I am still laughing where are those I too sabi fans who insult Coach Jo Bonfrere and I the other day? Simply because they hate the truth. This is just the beginning starting from Congo draw I knew that there’s fire on the mountain lol I still dey laugh

    • How can we succeed when 90% of u fans are already expecting us to lose. Ur sense cant tell u to analyze. Instead u are laughing. Who are u laughing at now. U nor b nigerian abi. U are just an unpatriotic idiot. If its ur club, u will not criticize like this. Shame on u. 

    • Naija Man 3 years ago

      Chima – I saw how you were batched for speaking the truth. I was castigated too. Those “I too sabi” fans have gone into hiding.

      • Jones 3 years ago

        Guy your English is terrible it is  bashed not batched. You only have one country if you don’t support them who will ?? The so-called European countries you support would never give you visa. 

  • I think we failed because of wrong choice of players and formation for the game.
    Iwobi was played out of position, Mikel, our biggest scam.
    Ighalo too dull.
    “Oyibo wall”, flop!!!
    3-5-2 would have been our best formation.

    Naija do ja!!!

  • Sunnyb 3 years ago

    I warned u guys, but some online know it all coaches abused me, I said fowl yansh go open, guess what guys fowl yansh don open ooo, I said Rohr was lucky during the qualifying series. Truth must be be told, must of these players  lacks speed, no skills,they are not creative, too slow,we lack ball hustlers and ball jugglers, we don’t have players that can take a game over. Only mediocrities believes in luck. I said it before Mikel is too slow to be our playmaker, Iheanacho is not better either.food for thought we won 1996 Olympic because of our ball hustlers and ball jugglers.

  • Marquis J. 3 years ago

    Prophets of doom that will always pray for the downfall of their folks so they can justify their senseless, baseless & antagonistic opinions!

    Now tell me, in what ways or measures were the Super Eagles outplayed by these uninspiring croats if not for hard-luck & poor officiating that helped their cause. With the much talked about array of stars & depth in this croatian team by people like you, i saw nothing spectacular in their performance tonight. They were just a bunch of average players so over-hyped by pessimists like you!

    If you must know, Super Eagles made me so proud tonight despite their defeat. They kept their heads high inspite of the odds & very glaring conspiracy against them. Though we lost but gallantly!

    • Naija Man 3 years ago

      That’s why we hardly caused any meaningful threat at the Croatian’ goal. The highlight even supports this.

    • Jones 3 years ago

      @marquis J, much respect bro you are not like those plastic fans that only support the Eagles when we win. 

  • Sunnyb 3 years ago

    Marquis j, I know ur type, guess what I don’t engage people like you, after all u voted for an herdsman to rule you. Continue to support mediocrity. Patriotism doesn’t mean one must be dumb or timid. U guys should go and  read what JJ Okocha wrote.

    • Thank U Bro. We all can see in life that what sow ever u so that is what u reap. U don’t give what u don’t have. As far as the earth remains seed time and harvest time will never seize that is a universal law. We over hyped our players. Sorry to say these, This country called Nigeria is not working at all. Football is one of the main thing that unifies us as one people. It affect our emotions which ever tribe u belong to . We won the best Fashioned team at the world cup but we lost the main thing. which shows that it is not the Quality of ur kits that plays football but what we have inside. It is not the fault of the coach whether he plays Ebubehi in place of Shehu or Plays Simmy in place of Ighalo. It is the fault of our leaders that refuses to do needful . The leader in the peach being Captain Mikel Obi infested other midfielders with his type of play. both my own Ogenekaro and Ndidi are following him to play diagonal pass, holding the ball too much and doing guide guide to an opponent . Lets do the needful by investing in developing our youth then it will translate to other areas. God bless us all

    • My greatest regret from the outcome match is that it allowed negative people to have their day.

  • Edoman of New Jersey, USA. 3 years ago

    All we are saying, Rohr must GO. Please, join me in this noble effort to get this dumb & stupid couch remove now before the next match with Iceland and Argentina.

  • Stop the Abuse 3 years ago

    Any person who thinks he can come here to call people names and rain abuses on others for expressing their views is low in moral and it tells much about the type of home he grew up with. From findings published in medical and psychological journals, it a home where the father is abusive and authoritative. The wife to such a man is always under perpetual intimidation. The children grew up being bullies. Anyone who stand up to them is viewed as an enemy. They lack self confidence and feel they can make up by posing as an alpha male. They are fakes. They attack rivals instead of issues. If they find anyone of like minds, they immediately stick to that person and form a gang of intimidators. Do we need such people on this forum? No no no. 16 teams will go home after the group stage. Fifa members are about 200. All started the race at the same time. Only 32 came to Russia. In Qatar 2022, 32 will qualify for the finals. So what is the big deal if Nigeria plays only 3 matches and come vack home. They are our representatives in this year’s WC. We swim or sink with them since we sent them there. If the NFF like they sacks the coach and employs another or still stick to him, we the fans have no say in the matter since the NFF is representing the citizens in football making decisions. So stop the abuses and name calling and just make your views know. If you don’t like the Super Eagles’ play, just express your anger but don’t abuse anyone. If you still want hope in the Super Eagles, just say so without calling others names. We are humans created in God’s image. This means we can exhibit the fine qualities of our Creator like love, respect, reasonableness, compassion, understanding, sympathy, empathy, faith, loyalty, mildness, self-control. Be guided.

  • Edoman 3 years ago

    @Mykel, thank you my honest friend. After the Serbia’s match, l and folks like you stopped believing on this stupid couch that he did not know what a hell is doing couching with our National team. Now, if can not beat common Croatia, how are you going to beat Iceland or/and Argentina.

  • Marquis J. 3 years ago

    Thanks bro @jones. @sunnyb, mincing words with you will amount to a colossal waste of my precious time. Your insultive response to my comment, which was not personally directed to you, truely reflects your lack of proper education, especially on COURTESY. @naijaman, same applies to the croats. If you can take your time to watch that match again, you will notice that the croats had their first attempt on target on open play in the 92nd minute of the game. That also is a low on a croatian team claimed to have a very potent midfield & attack!

  • CRO _ FAN 3 years ago

    To be honest that was very hard game but Croatia deserved win absolutely. The Nigeria team was without idea. Also the team is very young and less experienced. Hope you can beat Island and hold draw against Argentina.

  • The players simply showed how messed up our system is in Nigeria, never give the right person the job give the bosses brother who isn’t qualified the job and that is what you get. “Failure” on a gigantic scale