Nigeria beat Iceland 2-0 in World Cup clash

Ruben Hill
June 26, 2018

Maybe Gernot Rohr gave the Super Eagles some tough talking during the break.

At every World Cup, a group is stamped with the ominous "death" label and in Russian Federation that designation has fallen on Group D - which consists of Nigeria, Croatia, Argentina and Iceland. The Arsenal man relishes representing his country and would certainly become a national hero overnight if he can influence the tie in favour of the Super Eagles.

Ahmed Musa of Nigeria celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against Iceland in Volgograd.

With the game heavily poised in the second-half, as both teams were locked in a tense stalemate, Gunnarsson ordered the Icelandic defence up the field for one of his routine distributions into the box.

There are good distances between units, they're compact, and they deny opponents time and space.

Against this strategy, Nigeria will have to move the ball quickly, at a good tempo and get in forward areas early. But Iceland's most technically gifted player, Gylfi Sigurdsson, sailed his shot comfortably over the crossbar, knocking the air out of Iceland's chances and out of the NY fan pub, where Iceland supporters buried their heads in their hands.

"We are in the top 50 in the world, Iceland is in the top 20 (22), Croatia is in the top 12 (20) and Argentina in the top eight".

A win would take Nigeria through to the knockout rounds while a draw will be enough providing Iceland do not beat group leaders Croatia by a big enough margin.

After the second round of fixtures, Croatia top the group with six points, Nigeria sit second with three, while Iceland, on one point, are above Argentina on goal difference. It will not change the plans that we have decided before this game, " he said.

Nigeria will play its next group stage game against Argentina in St. Petersburg on June 26.

Following Nigeria's limp 2-0 opening loss to Croatia, the team faced the prospect of being eliminated from the tournament.

The Nigerian team also had a stroke of luck as Iceland won a fair penalty-which was then sailed over the bar by their star player Siggurdson.

Iceland boss Heimir Hallgrimsson: "It's a unusual fact that we are still in the race".

Nigeria still have to beat Argentina to make sure of extending their stay in Russian Federation but this performance, particularly in the second half, will give them a huge lift for Tuesday's group finale.

"We often say we are like a married a couple trying to get a divorce, but we always meet up again", Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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