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World Cup 2018: Nigeria kit sells out after three million pre-orders

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Nigeria may not be favourites for the World Cup, but they seem to have won fans over with their new kit for Russia.
Three million people pre-ordered replica shirts, according to the Nigeria Football Federation, and shoppers queued outside Nike’s flagship store in London on Friday to try to get their hands on the clothing.
The home and away shirts, priced at £64.95, were sold out on the sportswear giant’s website soon after they were released.

Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi is among the players who modelled the kit, which was first revealed back in February, along with Leicester’s Wilfried Ndidi, who wore a branded bucket hat and jacket for the promotional photos.
The makers describe the home kit as a “subtle homage to Nigeria’s ’94 shirt, with its eagle wing-inspired black-and-white sleeve and green torso”.
The away kit, meanwhile, is a “cool, refined vision” of a classic full-green strip.
Nigeria are set to wear their new shirt when they face England in their World Cup warm-up game at Wembley on Saturday (17:15 BST).

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Senegal coach Cisse hails ‘perfect’ World Cup start

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Senegal manager Aliou Cisse hailed his side’s tactical understanding after the West Africans defeated Poland in their World Cup opener.
Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye’s deflected effort gave Senegal the lead, before M’Baye Niang pounced on a slack pass to double the advantage after the interval.
Gregorz Krychowiak pulled one back for the Poles but Cisse’s side held off a barrage of late attacks to secure a pleasing win for the youngest coach at the tournament.

He said: “We managed to control the game tactically and emotionally. This victory means we enter the competition in the best possible way, but we know it will be a difficult match against Japan.”
“I guarantee the whole of Africa is supporting us. I get phone calls from everywhere. We are proud to represent Africa.”
Poland boss Adam Nawałka insisted his team have the mentality to bounce back when they face a Columbia side who also suffered an opening day defeat next.
He said: “I think we have a lot of stamina and strength within the team to start our match against Colombia with full strength.
“I’m convinced we will recuperate and regenerate after this match. We will have a positive attitude in the next match.”

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Clinical Russia tops Egypt to reach knockout rounds

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Russia goals: Fathy o.g. (48′), Cheryshev (59′), Dzyuba (62′)
Egypt: Salah (PK, 73′)
Next: Russia-Uruguay, Egypt-Saudi Arabia

Hosts Russia scored a trio of second half goals to clinch the first spot in the 2018 World Cup’s Round of 16 with a 3-1 win over Egypt on Tuesday in Saint Petersburg.
The loss means Egypt is 0-2, the Pharoahs unable to find momentum despite the return of Mohamed Salah. Egypt needs a wild combination of factors to stay alive for the knockout rounds, and is likely heading home.
Salah won and converted a penalty for Egypt, while Denis Cheryshev, Artem Dzyuba, and an Egyptian own goal accounted for Russia’s goals.
Some sloppy play out of the back allowed Golovin a shot from outside the 18 but he hit his effort wide of the frame.
Egypt stayed in the mix though, and a Russian mistake deep in its own end forced Zhirkov to concede a corner with a desperation intervention that stopped Mo Salah from a doorstep opportunity.
Salah then won a yard of space but fired wide in the 42nd minute after Zhirkov stopped him from going to his right peg.

Russia went ahead through an Egypt own goal from Fathy, who was jostling for position with Artem Dzyuba and turned Roman Zobnin’s mishit inside his net.

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P-Square’s Paul Blasts Nigerians for Criticising Super Eagles After Croatia Defeat

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International award winning Nigerian musician, Paul Nonso twin brother of Peter of P-Square took to his Facebook account to blast Nigerian fans for calling Super Eagles players all sort of names after they lost their opening Russia 2018 World Cup match against Croatia.
Paul posted, “Nigeria lost to Croatia and all hell breaks loose but star players in Argentina could not beat Iceland, Germany could not beat Mexico, even almighty Brazil couldn’t even beat Switzerland.”
“Nigerians would curse and abuse their players cause we lost to Croatia. We Nigerians are the problem of this country, yes, nobody wants to be defeated but we should be encouraging the players and not abusing and cursing them all over social media” Paul.
Paul ended his post with “a typical Nigerian cannot even encourage you not to give up if you failed once.”
The Nigerian team has a chance to redeem its soccer image and revive hope of Nigerians on the team to reach at least, the knock out stage of Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Nigeria plays Iceland in their next match. Recall, Iceland held tournament favorite Argentina to a deserved 1 all draw during the group D opening match which have Croatia and Nigeria.

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World Cup 2018: Moment England fans in London leap from their seats and celebrate as Harry Kane scores late winner against Tunisa

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This is the moment a pub full of England fans erupts with celebratory cheers as Harry Kane scores the national team’s late winner against Tunisia in the World Cup.
Football fans were seen with their eyes glued to the big screen as England scrambled to regain their lead against the North African side in their opening fixture on Monday.

As the Tottenham striker headed the ball in to the back of the net the supporters, watching the game in an east London hotel, leapt up from their seats with their arms in the air.

Roaring cheers erupted around the room and the fans turned to hug each other following Kane’s goal, which came in the closing seconds of the match in Russia.

One excited fan could be heard shouting “have it!” as he gestured towards the screen, which had been set up at the Shoreditch venue Hotel Mundial this evening.
Others screamed with joy with their arms high in the air before applauding the England captain for his injury-time goal, which secured a potentially vital three points.

It was Kane’s second goal of the clash, which ended 2-1.

He had opened the scoring after 11 minutes as Gareth Southgate’s side dominated the first-half only to concede a 35th-minute penalty for Kyle Walker’s challenge on Fekhreddine Ben Youssef, which Ferjani Sassi converted.

England laboured after the interval and looked to be heading for a draw before Kane converted the smart near-post header to earn a win which puts them level on points in Group G with Belgium, who beat Panama 3-0 earlier in the day.

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Over 30,000 fans attend Croatia v Nigeria

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The World Cup Group D game between Croatia and Nigeria in Kaliningrad was attended by a total of 31,136 spectators, FIFA said on Saturday.
The game, which ended with Croatia winning 2-0, took place at the Kaliningrad Stadium, built specifically for the World Cup. The official capacity of the arena is 34,000 seats.
Croatia will next face Argentina on Thursday, while Nigeria will take on Iceland on Friday.

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Super Eagles Player Ratings : Etebo Top Man, Mikel Struggles, Iwobi Not

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The Super Eagles opened their 2018 Russia World Cup campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Croatia at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Saturday evening.

The Starters Rating

Goalkeeper

Francis Uzoho: The young goaltender could do little about both goals he conceded. Kept down the scoreline with some important saves. (6/10)

Defenders

William Troost-Ekong: Was astute in his defensive duties for as long as he did not wrap his hands all over Mandzukic. Undid all his good works with that single act. (5/10)

Leon Balogun: Dovetailed well with William in the rear and was an imposing presence in aerial duels.(6/10)

Shehu Abdullahi: Made a lot of running though lacked no decisive bite going forward. (5/10)

Brian Idowu: Offered little on the left flank and did very little. (4.5/10)

Midfielders

Wilfred Ndidi: Dropped back brilliantly to shield his defence whenever Mikel ventured forward and though distribution left more to be desired. (6/10)

Oghenekaro Etebo: Full of energy and passing particularly during the first half. Diverted into his own goal from Mario Mandzukic’s header. (7/10)

Mikel Obi: Though he had his moments, he was outnumbered by the Croatian star midfielders. Most of his attributes were missing. (5/10)

Alex Iwobi: Had very little to work on was well kept in check by the Simë Vrsaljko. Tracked back a couple of times to help out defensively too. (5.5/10)

Victor Moses: Full of running and his trademark dribbling but end product brought nothing meaningful. (6/10)

Odion Ighalo: A few hold up plays and occasional crack at goal but nothing spectacular. He was isolated due to lack of service from midfield. Made way for Iheanacho. (5.5/10)

The Substitutes

Ahmed Musa: Did little when he was introduced partly due to getting very little service (4.5/10)

Kelechi Iheanacho: Offered a more attacking threat after coming on and had a shot to show for. (5/10)

Simeon Nwankwo: Merely offered fresh legs in the closing stages.

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Croatia beats Nigeria on own-goal, penalty kick

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Moscow: Luka Modric scored on a penalty kick after Croatia went ahead on an own-goal by Nigeria in a 2-0 victory in their World Cup match on Saturday night.
Nigeria’s Oghenekaro Etebo deflected the ball into his own net in the 32nd minute after two Croatia players had headed Modric’s corner kick.
Modric converted in the 71st minute when referee Sandro Ricci awarded a penalty after William Ekong held onto Mario Manduzik.
It was the fifth penalty awarded in four World Cup matches Saturday.
The win takes experienced Croatia to the top of Group D after Iceland held Argentina to a 1-1 draw earlier Saturday. Nigeria is the tournament’s youngest team.

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Super Eagles shot down by Croatia

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Nigeria’s 2018 World Cup got off to a terrible start after they were beaten 2-0 by Croatia in a Group D clash at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Saturday evening.

An own goal from Oghenekaro Etebo and a Luka Modric penalty took ‘The Blazers’ to three points and top spot in the group, while Africa is still waiting for it’s first goal – let alone a positive result – following 0-1 defeats for Egypt and Morocco on Friday.

Nigeria enjoyed plenty of early possession, but the first scoring chance went the way of Croatia, who put together a swift attacking move in the 14th minute which ended with Ivan Perisic firing a shot from the edge of the box just over the crossbar.

The European side claimed the lead just after the half hour mark. A corner kick was flicked on at the near post, Mario Mandzukic tried to score with a diving header and the ball was unwittingly turned into his own net by Oghenekaro Etebo.

It should have been 2-0 to Croatia in the 39th minute, with Ivan Rakitic whipping a fine cross into the box to find Andrej Kramaric, but the attacker put his glancing header over the target.

Nigeria started the second half strongly and gradually began to build some pressure in attack. However, they lacked the penetration to really trouble Croatia’s defence and goalkeeper Danijel Subasic.

‘The Blazers’ claimed their second goal in the 72nd minute, with Luka Modric scoring from a penalty. The spot kick had been awarded after defender William Troost-Ekong was guilty of wrestling Mandzukic to the floor at a corner kick.

Croatia were able to cruise through the rest of the game and pick up three valuable points which puts them top of the standings, ahead of their next match against Argentina on June 21. Nigeria’s next game will see them take on Iceland the following day.

Croatia (1) 2 (Etebo 32’ og, Modric 72’ pen)

Nigeria 0

Croatia: Subasic, Vrsaljko, Lovren, Vida, Strinic, Rakitic, Modric, Kramaric (Brozovic 60’), Rebic (Kovacic 78’), Perisic, Mandzukic (Pjaca 86’)

Nigeria: Uzoho, Abdullahi, Balogun, Troost-Ekong, Idowu, Etebo, Mikel (Nwankwo 88’), Ndidi, Moses, Ighalo (Iheanacho 73’), Iwobi (Musa 62’)

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Speaker Dogara’s Message to Super Eagles

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Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has urged Super Eagles players to make Nigerians proud as they prepare for the first match with Croatia in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
In a statement issued on Friday, Speaker Dogara called on all Nigerians to pray fervently for the success of the Super Eagles, while charging the players to put all they have got into ensuring that they win the group matches and advance to next stage of the competition.
He added that, “Over the years, football has been a major source of unity in Nigeria, we should, therefore, collectively pray for the Super Eagles as they brace up for their match against Croatia .
“Super Eagles proved to be a strong team during the qualifiers with their record and we expect them to replicate same zeal, spirit and patriotism in the World Cup.”
He said with team work and commitment the Super Eagles will surely triumph over their opponents in group and knockout stages of the World Cup.

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Player to Watch – Francis Uzoho

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The 19-year-old is being tipped to be the player that will be entrusted to guard the Nigerian goal against Croatia. Uzoho is very fresh at the international level and will need to be up to the task.
While many would doubt Uzoho’s ability to command the goal at such a young age and with not enough experience for an event as big as this, the Deportivo La Coruna goalkeeper comes into the event on the back of a solid season with the Reserves while managing to make his senior debut for the club as well.

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