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FIFA World Cup 2018: Nigeria 2-0 Iceland - 5 Talking Points

Nigeria need just a point to qualify for the knockout stages
Nigeria need just a point to qualify for the knockout stages
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 22 Jun 2018, 23:29 IST
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Nigeria put behind a disappointing first-half performance, to beat Iceland 2-0 thanks to two goals from Ahmed Musa, ensuring they only need a point from their third group game against Argentina to qualify for the Round of 16.

Musa's first goal was a thing of beauty, as he controlled Victor Moses's cross brilliantly before slotting past Hannes Haldorsson.

Gylfi Sigurdsson missed a late penalty for the Vikings to snuff out any hope Heimir Hallgrimsson's men would have had of staging a comeback.

Nigeria catapulted themselves to second in the group with the three points, behind Croatia who have had a perfect start to their campaign.

Here are some of the main talking points from the game.


#5 Iceland's promising first half

In the first half, Iceland looked like they were carrying the confidence from that draw against Argentina, as they troubled the Super Eagles, with their incisive play. But they could not really create too many opportunities despite having the territorial advantage.

They fielded a more attacking line-up as well, with Jon Dadi Bodvarsson partnering Alfred Finnbogasson up top, in a bid to give them more presence in the opposition box. But, in the end, that did not end up making a huge difference.

Gylfi Sigurdsson's early free kick was the closest they came to testing Francis Uzoho. Rurik Gislason and Hordor Magnusson got into some terrific crossing positions in the first half, and put in some testing balls into the box, but there was no Icelandic body at the end of any of those crosses.

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Nigeria struggled from set-pieces in their last game against Croatia, so it was, on face value, a strategy that made sense for Iceland to employ, but if this side has an achilles heel, it is their performance in the opposition final third, and Nigeria enjoyed the rub of the green in the first half.

Aron Gunnarsson's long throws were also a considerable test for the Nigerian defense, with the big frames of Ragnar Sigurdsson and Alfred Finnbogasson attacking those flat throws, but in the end, no damage was done.

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Published 22 Jun 2018, 23:29 IST
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