Nigeria attempts to beat wounded Argentina to advance to knockouts

Nigeria will be playing against Argentina Tuesday vying to win in order to qualify for the round of 16, while the south Americans’ fate in the World Cup was hanging by a thread.

Nigeria has three points while Argentina has only one, risking elimination.

Nigeria have faced Argentina in the group stages in each of their last three World Cups: 2002, 2010 and 2014.

Argentina are currently enduring longest winless run in World Cup finals history.

Argentina’s Javier Mascherano said his team would “seek qualification to the next round” during Nigeria’s match.

Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr said Nigeria has played Argentina four times at the World Cup and never won. “Runs like that have to come to an end at some point,” he said.

Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel said “we have a good mix in the team, players that can hold the ball and players that are really fast. Ahmed Musa brought speed for us in the last game (against Iceland) and it helped us to succeed. Hopefully, we can keep on playing like this because this is what we always wanted.” Meanwhile, Group D leader Croatia, which has six points, would be meeting Iceland, marking the seventh meeting between the two teams but the first in a major championship.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said he wanted to give full support for his players and communicate with them a lot. “Having players’ trust is the most important thing for me,” he said.

Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson said at the press conference yesterday if they manage to qualify for round of 16 “it would probably be the biggest success in the short history of Icelandic football.” Iceland captain Aron Gunnarsson said Croatia “have a good team. They have great individuals and a good team that fights together and does everything to win.” Even though Croatia already qualified for the knock-out stages, he said, they will want to win every game they play

Source: Kuwait News Agency