THE EDUCATOR - June 18 2018



Super Eagles Defeat: We have another Group of Death’ on our hands - Balogun

Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun, on Sunday said the most important concern with the Nigerian team now should be how not to brood about Saturday’s 0-2 loss to Croatia.


Balogun told News Agency of Nigeria at the team’s base in Essentuki that the team must stick together and plan on how to overcome the setback.

“There is no need to get our heads down. It is never nice to lose, especially when it is important to do so, but we can’t be brooding over that loss,’’ he said.

Nigeria lost their opening Group D match at Kaliningrad and will now need to get at least four points from the remaining two games in the group.

A win against Iceland which earlier drew 1-1 with Argentina is quite necessary on Friday, with hopes that Croatia should beat Argentina on Thursday.

“We now have another `Group of Death’ on our hands, just like it was during the qualifiers. Now, we have two very important games ahead of us and we need to win at least one of them.

“But, I am sure we will be up to it. We need to do a good analysis of the two opponents as well as what went wrong on Saturday and make good use of it,’’ he said.

The defender pointed out that the team had the capability to do well in the competition as long as they looked at the positives of their performance against Croatia.

“We didn’t play a really bad game against Croatia. Their experience was one thing they had against us, and they were composed and very good.
“Our game didn’t look too bad and that means we can still get it right.

“I know it is going to be tough, especially in fighting back to qualify from this group, but we must do what we need to do,’’ he said.

Balogun has concluded plans to move from the Bundesliga to the English Premier League next season.