Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Melvin Pinnick has declared that the Super Eagles can advance to the knock out stage desipte their 2-0 loss to Croatia in their first match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Nigeria’s players take part in a training session at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 15, 2018 during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. / AFP Croatia made good from set–pieces in Kaliningrad on Saturday, winning 2-0 to top Group D ahead of Argentina and Iceland, who finished 1-1 and have one point each.
“We expected to win against Croatia but it did not happen and the whole team, as well as the Federation, have put that behind us and looking ahead with hope to the next two matches. “I have spoken with the Coach and the players and they have confidence that the job can be done. They feel bad to have lost the first match and are determined to go out there and do what they have to do against Iceland on Friday,” Pinnick said. The NFF President and Member of the CAF Executive Committee also appealed to Nigerians back home to continue to support the young team with kind words and prayers. “The Federal Government through the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports (Barrister Solomon Dalung), who is here in Russia supporting the team and giving them words of encouragement, has appealed to Nigerians to keep supporting the team. The NFF is also appealing to them to continue to encourage the team with kind words and prayers.”
Looking at previous report Super Eagles Can Win 2018 World Cup by James Agberebi: Former Nigeria international, Daniel Amokachi, believes that the Super Eagles of Nigeria are good enough to become world champions at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The Super Eagles will be making their sixth appearance at the FIFA World Cup at this summer’s edition since debuting in USA 1994 In five outings at the World Cup, the Super Eagles have only reached the Round of 16 on three occasions (USA 1994, France 1998 and Brazil 2014).
Amokachi who was a member of the Super Eagles squad to the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, said in an interview on BBC Focus on Africa that African teams must aspire to challenge for the World Cup rather than just participate. “Will Nigeria get out of that group (2018 World Cup Group D)? Yes. Will Nigeria go far in the World Cup? Yes. Will Nigeria be able to win the World Cup? Yes. “Africans have to start believing. They have to go past that stage of “your country got to the Second Round, your country got to the Quarter-finals”. No, I’m going to a major tournament to go and win it. “If we had that mentality, we will go a very long way. And that was what killed us when we were there in 1994, that’s what killed Cameroon when they were there in 1990 and that’s what killed Senegal in 2002. Because they are just going there to have fun instead of “we are going there to win it”.” The Super Eagles are drawn in Group D along with Argentina, Croatia and Iceland at the 2018 World Cup. They will take on Czech Republic in their final warm up game in Austria today (Wednesday) before flying out to Russia for the World Cup.