Live updates as Super Eagles lose their World Cup 2018 opener

Nigeria take on Croatia in the second game of matchday of Group D at the Kaliningrad stadium.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria were beaten 2-0 by Croatia in their opening game of the World Cup 2018 in Russia.

Croatia score a goal in each half to top Group D after Iceland and Argentina played out a 1-1 draw earlier on Saturday.

Eteto scored an own goal in the 32nd minute off a set piece while Luka Modric doubled Croatia's lead in the 71st minute from the penalty spot.

Details shortly...

Second half

81mins: Balogun rises high to head a ball that does not trouble the Croatian goalkeeper.

80mins: Iheanacho does well to send a low pass to Musa in Croatia's box but a defender comes in fast to clear.

79Mmins: Croatia threatens again as Uzoho punches out a low corner from the left.

71mins: Goal for Croatia; Modric sends his penalty low to the right and beats Uzoho to double Croatia's lead.

70mins: Penalty to Croatia. Referee penalises Ekong for wrapping his hands round Mandzukic during a corner.

51mins: Iwobi's fast feet creates space for him in the Croatians box but his shot was deflected off target.

49mins: Moses gets the ball in the box but his low drive goals wide.

46mins: Nigeria threatening through three consecutive corner kicks but the Croatians defending them very well.

Half-time: Nigeria 0 Vs Croatia 1

Etebo to be blamed for Croatia's goal. Left his position at the edge of the goal and also directed the ball into the Nigerian net.

39mins: Croatia dominating the game now and almost doubled their lead. Kramaric header off a Rakitic cross just over.

31mins: Goal for Croatia! Balogun deflects a shot for a corner and the Croatians score from it.

30mins: Yellow card for Rakitic after a foul on Moses.

21mins: Nigeria threaten from a set piece situation but it all ends in nothing.

15mins: Croatia try again from the distance, this time from Kramaric, but his shot is just wide.

13mins: Chance for Croatia. Persic strikes from outside the box but it's over the ba.r.

11mins: Mikel beats his man in the far corner but his cross was not able to get to Ighalo. Nigerians getting the most support from the stadium.

10mins: Super Eagles playing the ball around at the back but still finding it difficult to break down Croatia.

05mins: Super Eagles with a couple of freekicks which have not been well utilised.  Moses and Iwobi switching sides already early in the game.


Super Eagles starting XI has been confirmed.

Francis Uzoho, Shehu Abdullahi, William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Brian Idowu, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Odion Ighalo.

Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr starts with a 4-3-3 formation.

Some really big names in the Croatian line-up.

Team Arrivals

The Super Eagles and Croatia national team have arrived the Kaliningrad Stadium for the game.

Team walk on matchday

The Super Eagles arrived in Kaliningrad on Thursday, June 14, the next day on Friday they trained at the Kaliningrad stadium where the game against Croatia will be played.

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick also paid a visit to the team at their hotel to give them encouraging words ahead of the clash.

The Twitter handle of the Super Eagles also in the early hours of Saturday (match day) tweeted photos of the team walk.

Where to watch the game

Presidential visit

A Federal Government delegation led by Sports Minister Solomon Dalung alongside Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele and Nigerian Ambassador to Russia His Excellency Steve Davies Ugbah visited the Eagles' at their Mercure hotel, Kaliningrad and charged them to go all out against Croatia.

The visit was in the morning of the matchday and was done on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Match preview

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will kick off their 2018 World Cup campaign with an 8 pm (Nigerian local time) kickoff against Croatia at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Russia.

Nigeria will be looking to win only their third opening game in the history of the World Cup with their last victory coming in France 1998.

In their last three appearances, the Super Eagles have lost two of their opening games and drawn the other.

Nigeria’s two wins in their opening game have been against European teams, Bulgaria in 1994 and Spain in 1998.

The Super Eagles are going into this game on the back of two losses during their warm-up games.

They lost 2-1 to England and 1-0 to the Czech Republic in their build-up to the World Cup.

They have only won one game in five in 2018, beating Poland 1-0 in a friendly back in March.


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