Nigeria eye shock win after Argentina SWC draw

2017-12-01 22:46
Russia 2018 (Supplied)

Moscow - Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr said he hopes to spring a surprise after drawing Argentina in the 2018 World Cup on Friday - the two-time champions they sensationally beat 4-2 in a friendly last month.

READ: Big guns avoid each other in SWC 2018 draw

Making their sixth appearance in the showpiece competition, Nigeria are bringing their most inexperienced squad ever to Russia next year.

"This is the youngest team in Nigeria's history in the World Cup. We have the youngest team of the 32 teams here. So we have to learn," German coach Rohr said after also drawing Iceland and Croatia in a tricky Group D.

READ: Can Nigeria outwit Croatia, Argentina in Group D?

"This is a difficult group, but I think we can spring a surprise."

Nigeria clawed their way back from a 2-0 deficit to claim a stunning friendly win over Argentina at the Krasnodar Stadium in Russia on November 14.

Argentina did not have superstar Lionel Messi last month.

"But we also played without Victor Moses," Rohr said in reference to the talented Chelsea winger.

Nigeria have shown much promise since making their World Cup debut at the 1994 competition in the United States.

They fought hard before falling to Argentina 2-1 in their debut finals, winning plaudits for bringing sub-Saharan African flare to the game.

Their 1994 bow may also have been their most memorable, ending in a 2-1 extra-time last-16 defeat by Roberto Baggio's Italy, who went on to lose the final to Brazil on penalties.

Nigeria have never reached the quarter-finals and lost 3-2 to Argentina in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, when they were beaten by France in the last 16.

Rohr said their toughest match will be against Croatia on June 16 in Kaliningrad, because it will be Nigeria's opener.

"The first game is always the most difficult," he added.

He also attributed Nigeria's failure to fully fulfil the promise others saw in them to a lack of discipline that he intended to fix.

"I believe that African players have the talent, they have the physical and technical possibilities, but what they are missing is organisation, what they are missing is discipline," said Rohr, who has also coached Gabon, Niger and Burkina Faso.

Read more on:    swc 2018  |  gernot rohr  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Breaking News

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Who will emerge victorious in this season's Champions League?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.