Nigeria had an unimpressive start to their 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign on Saturday in Kaliningrad with a 0-2 loss to Croatia.
They now have the Kilmanjaro to climb to qualify for the knockout stage, having dropped to the bottom of Group D and facing next hard-fighting Iceland and later wounded Argentina.
The Super Eagles made a slow start into the game, holding off the charging Croatians and making flank runs which yielded no clear-cut advance at goal.
The Croatians were tenacious, with Ivan Perisic’s shot flying over the bar in the 14th minute and Andrej Kramaric’s shot inches wide of the far side upright two minutes later.
The game went a gear up, with the Eagles now pushing them back through flank runs by Alex Iwobi and Victor Moses, which came off good midfield build-ups.
Croatia took the game in hand in the 32nd minute when Kramaric at the far side dived to head down a right flank corner kick.
The ball hit part of Oghenekaro Etebo’s body to roll past goalkeeper Francis Uzoho’s hands into the net for the opening goal.