Nigeria vs Argentina: Odegbami reveals edge Super Eagles have over Messi-led team

Ex-Nigeria international, Segun Odegbami says the Super Eagles have a psychological edge over Argentina, ahead of their make-or-mar Group D clash on Tuesday.

Odegbami stated this after spending a day with Gernot Rohr and his team, following their 2-0 win over Iceland in their second group game.

The victory boosted their chance of qualifying for the next round, as they only need to avoid defeat against the Lionel Messi-led Argentina.

Odegbami wrote from Russia in a WhatsApp post on Saturday: “It is already the morning after. Things have changed around here. There is a fresh feeling of confidence, and Nigerians are walking around with a swagger.

“That’s what winning does. But all of that will only sustain until next Tuesday when we shall go through, once again, all the emotional, physical and psychological trauma of last Friday.

“Again, there will be the usual skyhigh expectations, infectious enthusiasm, pressure-cooker tension and unbridled passion.

“Fortunately, Argentinà are not the same powerful team that they were four years ago. Messi is also getting blunted by age and the noticeable depression of realising that his one tree can still not make a forest.

“On top of that we have defeated Argentina only a short while ago, and that puts them on a psychological edge going into this next do-or-die encounter.

“It is a match that only Nigeria can lose themselves, because right now Argentina have been tenderised by the last two matches they played and are waiting to be devoured by any serious effort.”

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Nigeria vs Argentina: Messi speaks on retiring from international football

“It means so much because for Argentina the World Cup is special – and for me too.

“I’ve always had the dream of watching me raise the World Cup. And then seeing the emotion that goes with it.

“My hair stands on end just thinking about that moment. It would make millions of Argentines in the world happy.

“I have won all the most important tournaments but I am ambitious to the end. I would not like to retire from active football without being a world champion with my country,” Messi said.

<<Daily Post>>

Colombia Win to knock out Poland

Radamel Falcao scored his first World Cup goal as Colombia got their tournament in Russia up and running with an impressive victory that ended a lacklustre Poland side’s hopes of reaching the last 16.

Yerry Mina nodded in James Rodriguez’s cross shortly before half-time to put the South Americans ahead.

Falcao, who missed the finals four years ago with injury, then broke through in the second half before driving a low strike into the far corner and Juan Cuadrado capped off a fine team performance with an accomplished finish after racing on to James’ sublime ball behind the Poland defence.

It was a much improved performance by Colombia following the disappointing 2-1 defeat by Japan in their Group H opener and will give their fans hope they can at least match their run to the quarter-finals in 2014.

In contrast, this was another disappointing display by Poland, who lost to Senegal in their group opener.

Robert Lewandowski, making his World Cup debut in Russia, struggled with a lack of service throughout, the Bayern Munich striker going closest in the final few minutes when a long-range effort was tipped over by David Ospina.

Poland cannot now catch either Japan or Senegal, who have four points from two games. Colombia have three points and play Senegal on Thursday knowing victory could secure top spot.

<<BBC>>

Iheanacho tells Rohr formation to employ against Argentina

Leicester City striker, Kelechi Iheanacho has told Super Eagles handler, Gernot Rohr to employ a 3-5-2 formation when they face Argentina in their crucial World Cup match on Tuesday.

The forward was one of the beneficiaries when the German coach opted to change the formation to a 3-5-2 system that worked so well in the second half of the 2-1 loss to England three weeks ago.

”It was a good result for us, we changed the formation and it wasn’t good in the first half but we came back strong in the second half,” Iheanacho told reporters in the mixed zone.

”They say the voice of people is the voice of God, but I think the coach has a big part to play, so he has to make the final decision at the end, so any formation that he comes out with, this formation is giving us what we want.

”We really worked a lot on set-pieces before coming to this game. African teams, they say we are not good in set-pieces, but we are working on set-pieces so we can be strong to fight against (teams) in set-pieces, corner kicks and free-
kicks.”

The Super Eagles avoided an early flight home after beating Iceland 2-0, with Ahmed Musa scoring a brace.

Leicester City striker, Kelechi Iheanacho has told Super Eagles handler, Gernot Rohr to employ a 3-5-2 formation when they face Argentina in their crucial World Cup match on Tuesday.

The forward was one of the beneficiaries when the German coach opted to change the formation to a 3-5-2 system that worked so well in the second half of the 2-1 loss to England three weeks ago.

”It was a good result for us, we changed the formation and it wasn’t good in the first half but we came back strong in the second half,” Iheanacho told reporters in the mixed zone.

”They say the voice of people is the voice of God, but I think the coach has a big part to play, so he has to make the final decision at the end, so any formation that he comes out with, this formation is giving us what we want.

”We really worked a lot on set-pieces before coming to this game. African teams, they say we are not good in set-pieces, but we are working on set-pieces so we can be strong to fight against (teams) in set-pieces, corner kicks and free-
kicks.”

The Super Eagles avoided an early flight home after beating Iceland 2-0, with Ahmed Musa scoring a brace.

Nigeria are now favorites to progress to the last sixteen on Tuesday, June 26.

 

<<Daily Post>>

Senegal vs Japan: Coach Cisse speaks on being ‘sex symbol’

Senegal coach, Aliou Cisse, has laughed off talk about his growing status, as one of the sex symbols at the 2018 World Cup.

Cisse was momentarily speechless on Saturday, when asked the question by a Russian journalist, ahead of Sunday’s game against Japan.

“I don’t know, you’ll have to ask the ladies,” the 42-year-old replied.

Clips of Cisse’s fist-pumping goal celebrations during Senegal’s 2-1 win over Poland have gone viral, attracting the attention of admirers around the world.

Some fans have likened him online to the Marvel Comics super-hero, Black Panther.

“I don’t think I’m a sex symbol at all. There are millions and millions of Aliou Cisses in Senegal and the world.

“It’s good to be loved,” he added.

Iheanacho tells Rohr formation to employ against Argentina

Leicester City striker, Kelechi Iheanacho has told Super Eagles handler, Gernot Rohr to employ a 3-5-2 formation when they face Argentina in their crucial World Cup match on Tuesday.

The forward was one of the beneficiaries when the German coach opted to change the formation to a 3-5-2 system that worked so well in the second half of the 2-1 loss to England three weeks ago.

”It was a good result for us, we changed the formation and it wasn’t good in the first half but we came back strong in the second half,” Iheanacho told reporters in the mixed zone.

”They say the voice of people is the voice of God, but I think the coach has a big part to play, so he has to make the final decision at the end, so any formation that he comes out with, this formation is giving us what we want.

”We really worked a lot on set-pieces before coming to this game. African teams, they say we are not good in set-pieces, but we are working on set-pieces so we can be strong to fight against (teams) in set-pieces, corner kicks and free-
kicks.”

The Super Eagles avoided an early flight home after beating Iceland 2-0, with Ahmed Musa scoring a brace.

Nigeria are now favorites to progress to the last sixteen on Tuesday, June 26.

Senegal vs Japan: Coach Cisse speaks on being ‘sex symbol’

Senegal coach, Aliou Cisse, has laughed off talk about his growing status, as one of the sex symbols at the 2018 World Cup.

Cisse was momentarily speechless on Saturday, when asked the question by a Russian journalist, ahead of Sunday’s game against Japan.

“I don’t know, you’ll have to ask the ladies,” the 42-year-old replied.

Clips of Cisse’s fist-pumping goal celebrations during Senegal’s 2-1 win over Poland have gone viral, attracting the attention of admirers around the world.

Some fans have likened him online to the Marvel Comics super-hero, Black Panther.

“I don’t think I’m a sex symbol at all. There are millions and millions of Aliou Cisses in Senegal and the world.

“It’s good to be loved,” he added.

 

 <<Daily Post>>

Lukaku Scores Twice As Belgium Win

Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard both scored twice as Belgium strengthened their lead above England at the top of World Cup Group G by crushing Tunisia with a devastating attacking display.

While Roberto Martinez’s side are not through to the last 16 yet, a win for England over Panama in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday will see the Red Devils and Three Lions progress.

That would leave their meeting in Kaliningrad on Thursday to decide who tops the group and it is Belgium who hold the upper hand there, with their sparkling finishing in the sunshine at the Spartak Stadium leaving their goal difference significantly better off.

Speaking after the game, Martinez said he would make “major changes” for the match against England.

“If we could have seven days to prepare for that game and then another seven days before the following game then we would start with the same starting XI,” said the former Everton boss.

“The reality is that we have qualified – you are only as good as the 23 players. There will be opportunities for others. We need to check the injury doubts Lukaku (ankle), Hazard (calf) and Mertens (knock to ankle).”

Belgium attacked from the off and needed only five minutes to take the lead, when Hazard was barged over by Syam Ben Youssef just inside the box and got up to send Tunisia keeper Farouk Ben Mustapha the wrong way from the spot.

Things quickly got worse for Tunisia when Ali Maaloul’s heavy touch on the halfway line allowed Dries Mertens to nip in and release Lukaku, who found a perfect low finish.

<<BBC>>

Mikel Obi speaks on Super Eagles’ 2-0 victory

Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi, has thanked Nigerian fans, following their 2-0 win over Iceland on Friday.

Ahmed Musa scored twice, as Gernot Rohr’s men boosted their chances of qualifying for the next round.

Mikel Obi tweeted: “Thank you to all the @NGSuperEagles fans! You carried us through to victory. On to the next one! #SoarSuperEagles #NIGISL”

Rohr has already spoken about the sacrifices the Tianjin TEDA midfielder had to make for the match.

“Mikel has in the last two years been playing as an offensive midfielder, especially now in China, while Victor has been playing as a forward. But we needed them to play in different roles today.

“We needed to convince them to make the sacrifice for their country, and they accepted. They played so well in these roles and the team and their country benefited.

“It is not easy having to do so, especially when you have to combine defensive duties with offensive duties. But the team is now the better for their sacrifice,” Rohr told reporters.

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Musa Earns Nigeria Win Over Iceland

The Super Eagles would have gone out with defeat but came good in Volgograd.

Musa showed superb technique to fire Nigeria ahead on the half-volley before the Leicester player rounded keeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson to make it 2-0.

Iceland missed a late penalty – awarded after a video assistant referee review – when Gylfi Sigurdsson fired over.

The result gives a slight lift to beleaguered group rivals Argentina. Victory over Nigeria in their final game would see La Albiceleste safely into the last 16 – as long as Iceland do not beat group leaders Croatia. In that event, goal difference would decide who progressed.

Victory in that game for Nigeria, on the other hand, would now guarantee their progress. Having started the day bottom of the group, they find themselves second – three points behind Croatia, who have already qualified for the knockout stage.

Having gone down 2-0 to Croatia in their first game, Nigeria would have joined African rivals Egypt and Morocco in exiting the tournament early if they had lost here.

They started slowly, becoming the first team in Russia not to have a shot in the first 45 minutes.

Yet they were a different proposition after the interval as they went on to secure only a second win in 14 games at a World Cup finals.

Musa, who ended last season at CSKA Moscow on loan from Leicester City, proved the difference having been recalled to the team after the Croatia defeat.

He showed exceptional quality to open the scoring, controlling a cross by Victor Moses before lashing home from 10 yards.

Having scored one of the goals of the tournament, Musa then hit the bar before scoring his second after Iceland’s defence had gone walkabout.

That goal ensured he became his country’s all-time top scorer in World Cup games with four.

Nigeria still have to beat Argentina to make sure of extending their stay in Russia but this performance, particularly in the second half, will give the youngest side at the World Cup a huge lift for Tuesday’s group finale.

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