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Nigeria loss to Croatia shocking, says Izilein


Nigeria’s players react after during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Croatia and Nigeria at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 16, 2018. OZAN KOSE / AFP

A former coach of the Super Falcons, Godwin Ozilein, has described as shocking, the Super Eagles 0-2 loss to Croatia in the ongoing World Cup in Russia.

Izilein stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while reacting to the match played on Saturday night.

He attributed the loss to lack of effective team management and some errors by players.


He, however, said that in spite of the loss, the Eagles played a very good game and was confident that they will progress from the group stage.

“It was a shocking result and we were punished for our silly mistakes. In spite of that, I am still very optimistic that we will perform well in the other two matches.

“We had problem in the midfield, the opponent had numerical strength and that neutralized our ability to spray passes to the attackers.

“Odion Ighalo was virtually left on his own because of him not getting the desired services from the midfield.

“Mikel Obi was not used in the appropriate position. In Chelsea, he played in front of the standing four that gives him the ability to spray passes to number nine, but here, he was used behind the nine which made him seemed almost at lost in the game.

“The use of Iwobi at the flank neutralised his creative ability. He shouldn’t have been used there. He should have been used in his natural position where he would have come handy in the match.

“As for the defence, I am still saying Ichiejele should be allowed to play because he is a natural left footer. Idowu often turns to play the ball; This is wrong, no time to waste, because it is a game that is full of mobility.

“In the right full back, Ebuehi would have effectively carried out what Moses was trying to do. That boy likes running in the flank to spray passes to the front liners.

“He should have played in the stead of Abdullahi whose wing was clearly dominated by our opponent.

“Generally, what we lacked was the effective management of what we have, we should be able to correct it before our next matches.”

NAN reports that that the Eagle now occupy the bottom of group D with no point and two goals deficit after first round of matches.

Croatia, who defeated the Nigeria, top the group with three points while Argentina and Iceland follow in that order with a pliny each.

NAN reports that Eagles next group match is against Iceland.

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