African Teams And Their Chances At The 2018 FIFA World Cup - Nigeria

The Super Eagles of Nigeria
The Super Eagles of Nigeria will represent Africa in group D with their first group game against Croatia set to take place on June 16, 2018. The African side will then face Iceland and Argentina on June 22 and 26 respectively.

Nigeria, ranked 48th is the lowest ranked team in the group while Croatia, Argentina and Iceland are ranked 20, 5 and 22 respectively.

In the African qualifiers, Nigeria picked up the ticket to Russia ahead of Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria with 13 points, scoring 11 goals and conceding 6 in the process.

The 2018 World Cup will be the 6th appearance for the super eagles with their best efforts coming in 1994, 1998 and 2014 where they got to the round of 16.

They finished top of the group in 1994 ahead of Argentina, Bulgaria, and Greece. Nigeria defeated Bulgaria 3 – 0, lost to Argentina 1 – 2, and reached the second round after a 2 – 0 victory over Greece. In April 1994, the Super Eagles was ranked 5th in the FIFA rankings, the highest FIFA ranking position ever achieved by an African football team. They are the only African team to qualify for both the 2014 and 2018 tournaments.

The Super Eagles have lost all four of their previous World Cup meetings with group favourites, Argentina, 1 - 2, 1 - 0, 1 - 0, and 3 - 2 in 94', 2002, 2010 and 2014 respectively.

However, they defeated Argentina 4 - 2 in a recent friendly. The key match of the group for them would be the first two games against Croatia and first timers Iceland. A good result in the games will render the game against Argentina a dear rubber game. The Lionel Messi inspired side finished 2nd in the last event held in Brazil.

Alex Iwobi in action against Argentina
The Super Eagles have an array of in-form players to rely on but the star player to watch out for will be Alex Iwobi who scored twice in the Qualifiers, twice against Argentina and once against England.
If the team can work as a team, they will progress to the next round.

By Onwordi Ngozi Fortune

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