Nigerian fans say the winning spirit was missing and it is a lesson for Nigeria ahead of their two remaining games in their World Cup group, following their team 2-0 loss to Croatia in Kaliningrad on Saturday.
Croatia beat Nigeria on Saturday with an own goal from Oghenekaro Etebo and a penalty from Luka Modric to go top of Group D, one of the toughest and most unpredictable in the tournament.
“There’s one positive from today, the biggest winner is football”, a Nigerian fan said.
It is a lesson and the winning spirit wasn't there, sadly. It puts us in a very tough situation now. The next two matches is going to be pretty difficult. Fingers crossed. Never say never!
Another fan thinks ‘‘it is a lesson and the winning spirit wasn’t there, sadly. It puts us in a very tough situation now. The next two matches is going to be pretty difficult. Fingers crossed. Never say never.”
While dominating for long periods, Croatia struggled to penetrate the Nigerian defence and failed repeatedly to find the target with speculative shots from well outside the penalty area.
“Excellent. I think we played a tactical game to win; we didn’t play game to destroy Nigeria, we just played tactical game. We changed the players, we had a few changes, but the aim is just to go to the next round and to win the championship”, a Croatian fan said.
Afterwards, outside the Kaliningrad Stadium Croatia fans were jubilant – singing and dancing – as the result puts them in pole position after Argentina were unexpectedly held to a 1-1 draw by Iceland.
Nigeria will face Iceland next in Volgograd, while Croatia take on Argentina.