Brian Idowu has warned his Nigeria teammates they must cut out mistakes in their second Group D Russia 2018 World Cup against a fearless, physical and combative Iceland side in Volgograd on June 22 to seal victory and to keep alive hopes of reaching the next round.
World Cup debutants Iceland have been tossed into the spotlight since their holding powerhouse Argentina and their superstar Lionel Messi to a 1-1 draw in Moscow on Saturday, the same day the Super Eagles lost 2-0 in the other group fixture to Croatia in Kaliningrad.
Iceland manager Heimir Hallgrimsson abandoned his traditional 4-4-2 formation, opting for a negative approach, which enabled his players, average 1.90m in height, to frustrate an Argentina side who lacked ideas.
And Russian-born Idowu, who expressed his disappointment over Nigeria’s loss to Croatia via set-pieces, warned the Eagles against taking their foot off the throttle at the Volgograd Arena where they come up against Iceland make-or-break clash on Friday.
“It’s going to be a very difficult match (against Iceland),” the versatile 26-year-old defender, who plays for Russian Premier League outfit Amkar Perm, told our correspondent .
“It’s going to be a very difficult match because Iceland are a team of fighters. It’s a game that could decide the fate of either team in this group. It’s a difficult group. Both teams want to get something big from the match, but it will be decided on the pitch. I believe it’s going to be our game.”
Idowu, who made his international debut in the 4-2 defeat of Argentina in a friendly affair in Krasnodar in November, lamented the Eagles conceded from set-pieces. He promised that they would not repeat same mistakes in Volgograd.
“It was unfortunate that we conceded two goals through set-pieces (against Croatia),” he said.
He insisted that his colleagues did their best to come out of Kaliningrad with a good result by regretted that they left the beautiful city a bruised and battered team.
Idowu added, “I did my best, everybody did their best, but our best was not enough to win the match.
We are going to work on our weakness before our game against Iceland. I believe we will qualify for the second round of the tournament because we have a good team.”