Tuesday, 26 June 2018

2018 World Cup:Nigeria Faces Argentina In A Do Or Die Match Today

Nigeria will give it her best shot when they tackle Argentina in Saint Petersburg in today’s final group D match to guarantee a fourth Round of 16 berth at the FIFA World Cup finals. Long before the contingent arrived in Saint Petersburg on Sunday evening, technical chiefs concerned themselves principally on what would be the best formation to establish an impregnable defence, a resilient and coherent midfield and a lethal front section that would make hay from half chances.

 Argentina are in desperate situation following a score-draw in their first game against Iceland and comprehensive defeat by Croaitia, and will throw everything at their disposal at the Super Eagles. But the Eagles are not a team to be easily brow-beaten, and have adopted an ‘Argentina Must Fall’ motto since flaying Iceland in Volgograd.

 The likes of Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano could be making their last FIFA World Cup appearance, and Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala will kick themselves several times if the Albiceleste, reigning vice champions, are kicked out of the World Cup at group stage. 

For Nigeria, Captain Mikel Obi is also perhaps playing in his last World Cup. Like Messi, he would have been playing in his fourth World Cup, but he missed Germany 2006 by the whiskers (Nigeria thwarted by head-to-head voodoo) and South Africa 2010 as a result of injury. In 2005, Messi won gold and Mikel silver at the FIFA U20 World Cup in The Netherlands, and while Messi was named Player of the Tournament, Mikel was named second best.
 
 Three years later, when Messi led Argentina to defeat Nigeria by the odd goal in the Men’s Olympics Final in Beijing, Mikel was absent. Both men were involved when Argentina edged Nigeria 3-2 in Porto Alegre at the last World Cup. These are some of the reasons why both team leaders will give their very best, with high –level determination, tactical awareness, technical hue and energy sure to be in abundant display.

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