The Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi says the team is now focused on Tuesday’s final Group D game against Argentina after they revived their hopes of advancing to the knockout stages with a 2-0 win over Iceland on Friday in Volvograd.
The Nigeria squad flew back to their World Cup team base camp in Essentuki on Saturday, advising that further drumming and singing be kept on hold until the final whistle against Argentina in Saint Petersburg. Victory over Iceland took Nigeria to second place in Group D but the three-time African champions must avoid defeat against the South Americans in Krestovsky to make progress to the knockout rounds.
Croatia top Group D with six points and a +5 goals advantage, with Nigeria second on three points with zero goals aggregate, having scored twice and conceded twice, while Iceland and Argentina lie further back with a point each. Croatia tackle Iceland at the same time (9pm Saint Petersburg, 7pm Nigeria) in Rostov-On-Don.
Captain Mikel, who played through the pain barrier in the final minutes against Iceland, said the squad was fully concentrated on the match against Argentina which would determine further interest at the World Cup finals.
“We have celebrated the win yesterday (Friday) but today (Saturday) is another day and the focus is on Argentina. That is the only thing on our minds now. It is important that we keep the focus and plan our strategy quite well.
We thank Nigerians from all over the world for their support. Their faith in us and their belief in our ability have continued to propel us. We will set up very well against Argentina to get a result.”
FIFA President Gianni Infantino watched the match at the Volgograd Arena, which was attended by 40,904 spectators. NFF President Amaju Pinnick, a Member of the CAF Executive Committee and Member of the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions, sat with Infantino, with the full complement of the NFF Board was present.