Super Eagles knows anything short of victory could prove great danger to their quest of qualifying to the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup as they confront Iceland in the second match at the Volgograd Arena on Friday(4pm Nigerian time).
Both teams will be hoping to steal the maximum points in a bid to remain in Russia having had contrasting results in their opening fixtures against Argentina and Croatia respectively.
Nigeria lost 2-0 to Croatia while Argentina played out a 1-1 draw against debutant, Iceland in their opening fixture.
Nigeria have only failed to make it through the knockout stages in 2010, in a group that consists of South Korea, Greece and Argentina since their participation at the FIFA World Cup.
However, Super Eagles Technical adviser, Gernot Rohr will be expecting the trio of Alex Iwobi, Victor Moses and Mikel Obi to put in their ‘A” game against an Iceland side who would want to capitalise on Nigeria’s aerial weakness.
Meanwhile, Iceland coach, Heimir Hallgrímsson will be banking on players such as Gylfi Sigurðsson, Aron Gunnarsson, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson and Birkir Bjarnason to shoulder the goal scoring responsibilities and even cause a major upset against Nigeria.
The Super Eagles have now lost nine and won just one of their last 13 World Cup games – with that victory coming against Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2014 – and are on a losing streak of three matches in a row following the defeat to Croatia.
Indeed, they have failed to even score in six of their last 11 World Cup outings and offered minimal threat in their opening game, registering only two shots on target.
There has only been one previous meeting between these two nations, and that saw Iceland run out convincing winners by a 3-0 scoreline in August 1981.
By Augustine Akhilomen