The match which began with the Super Eagles on the front foot had the Crotians pegged back for the first half. unfortunately a corner kick late in the 1st half led to a deflection by Etebo leading to an own goal against the Super Eagles.
The Super Eagles started the second half in a lack lustre manner which had people clamouring for Mikel’s eviction and in his stead Etebo and Ndidi hold the midfield.
That was the definition of a routine win for Croatia, with Modric sealing victory with that ice-cool second-half penalty. Straightforward stuff but Nigeria’s Super Eagles were desperately mediocre; food for thought for Gernot Rohr. Croatia will certainly have to up the ante against a team like Argentina (on Thursday) but, as they say, you can only beat what’s in front of you and they are a classy, professional side. Nigeria take on Iceland on Friday, with anything other than victory bound to end their journey in Russia. Thanks for your company at the end of a jam-packed Super Saturday. Shaun Walker’s report from Kaliningrad will be here shortly
Some fans had alot to say
“If Nigeria Super Eagles play like this on their next couple of games as well I don’t think that shirt that their supporters queued for for so long will become as fondly remembered as the one it was designed to commemorate,” emails David Wall.
GOAL! Croatia 1-0 Nigeria (Etebo own goal, 32)
They have chiselled out an opener. After more good work by Andrej Kramaric, it all stemmed from Ante Rebic’s deflected effort wide and, from the resulting corner, Mario Mandzukic’s diving header is helped home by Etebo, signed by Stoke City this week.
GOAL! Croatia 2-0 Nigeria (Modric pen, 71)
Make that four out of six. The Croatia captain doubles their lead, sending Francis Uzoho, the teenage goalkeeper, the wrong way.