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Nigeria vs Iceland
2018 FIFA World Cup
|Volgograd Arean, Volgograd|
Nigeria have breathed new and spirited life into their World Cup, overcoming the Iceland team 2-nil.
In a first half that looked like Nigeria had already given up on this tournament, Iceland were the stronger, playing strong disciplined football, with a formation that continually troubled and thwarted a disjointed Nigerian side. While Iceland were the more in charge, and having the more meaningful chances (Nigeria with shots on goal in the first half), it was the Nigerians with all the possession.
The second half was a completely different match, as Nigeria, led by double-scoring Ahmed Musa, used their pace and skill to attack Iceland at will, the Europeans having no answer for the revitalised and energetic lime green attack.
To rub salt into the Iceland wounds, Gylfi Sigurdsson missed a penalty, given after VAR intervention, and with that ray of hope gone, Nigeria closed out the match, to take three vital points into the last round of group matches.
Nigeria are looking to pick up their first points of the tournament, while Iceland will be looking to build on their first up sensation of a result with a win to put real pressure on the rest of group D. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 1am AEST.
There’s nothing like the second round of games to give a bit of perspective to the first round of matches in a World Cup.
When Croatia defeated Nigeria, and Iceland held Argentina, group D looked as open as any of them.
But now Argentina are on the precipice, Croatia have already qualified, and the super eagles take on the Icelandic warriors, in a match that is as difficult to call as the toss of a coin.
Nigeria appeared impotent against Croatia over the weekend. But then again, Croatia needed a penalty and an own goal to overcome the Nigerians.
That is the same team that easily accounted for the might of Argentina with 3 goals at absolutely no sweat.
So suddenly, Nigeria may not be the pushovers that they might have otherwise seemed.
And, given Argentina’s capitulation against Croatia overnight, what is the true value in Iceland’s opening draw.
Still good value for money for mine. For a country with population of 350,000, the mere participation of Iceland is remarkable, and you also can’t help but think that the shock of their result over Argentina forced the South Americans into their meltdown against Croatia.
So Iceland are still in this, and as they did against Argentina, they will have to rely upon discipline and resolve, and taking any and every opportunity that presents.
Iceland will also be mindful of creating considerably more in front of goal, given that they managed 8 shots on goal against Argentina, all in the first half.
Nigeria managed 14 shots against Croatia, and will be mindful of being more clinical with their chances.
History is also on Iceland’s side. These two nations have met previously, in 1981, and Iceland came away from that match with a 3-nil victory.
Iceland are on a roll at the moment, still following on from their Euro 2016 showing, and that morale boosting opening World Cup draw against a contender must give them the resolve to produce a similar performance again. Nigeria may well have a lot of shots, but it remains questionable whether they can make them count.
Iceland 1, Nigeria 0.
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