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CRO vs NIG Match Result - FIFA WC 2018
2 - 0
O. Etebo (OG) 32'
L. Modrić (P) 71'
PEEP! PEEP! PEEEEEEEP! That then is very much that as Croatia wrap up a 2-0 win over Nigeria. 

The Croats were superb down the wings, superb in the middle, and utterly ruthless in front of goal. Nigeria were aesthetically pleasing, decent down the middle, and horrible in front of goal. 

If Argentina don't up their game, they could well end up getting smacked by Croatia. 

That's all from me! Anirudh Menon signing out. 

90' +3' Croatia are trying to keep it in the corner. Of course, they are
90' +2' OH KOVACIC! OH NO! The Madrid lad got fed in with a superb reverse from Pjaca. He bears down on goal,, eschews a completely free Perisic who's standing in front of  an empty net and has a go himself. Would have been okay if he got a better connection to it - Francis Uzohu saves well from his weak shot
90' +1' Rakitic does brilliantly win a foul off Etebo, and that should eat up a few more seconds. Pjaca then does likewise further up the pitch. Superb from the Croats
90' Four minutes to be added on
89' Moses tries to cross it but the ball doesn't achieve much by the way of lift off. Vida and Strinic combine well to see off the Nigerians, for now
88' Nigeria throw on Nwankwo - essentially a massive fridge with limbs and a head - in the place of Mikel. No room for subtlety anymore
87' OH! NIGERIA! OH! OH! Musa did brilliantly to cut in inside Vrsaljko and play in Iheanacho (who takes it off the toe of a furious Jon Obi Mikel), he then lays it off to Moses, but the Chelsea man sees his shot superbly blocked by Strinic.
86' Nigeria ares till passing it around well - till they reach the edge of Croatia's box. Seeing this, Etebo looks to smack it in from around 45 yards. He really shouldn't have. Almost went out for a throw-in
85' WOOF! THIS CROATIAN SIDE! Marko Pjaca comes on for the brilliant, tireless, Mario Mandzukic
84' Croatia are looking to take the sting out of Nigeria's forward movement with some neat passing-it-about. Till Shehu climbs into Perisic and he takes the chance to have a little lie-down
82' OH! Balogun having strayed forward during the melee gets on the end of Moses' ball but the ball loops off the defender's big ol' noggin' and lands harmlessly into Subasic's gloves
81' OH! OH! OH! Etebo let Iheanacho loose at the Croat defence, he easily outpaced Vida and looked to tee up Musa; but Strinic threw himself at it and took both ball and player out. Both of them are out and need treatment. 
80' Croatia win a freekick, Modric lines up the delivery -- and he sends it straight into the hands of Uzoho
79' OH! MY! Croatia move forward at pace, Vrsaljko swings in a lovely ball out to Perisic who almost plays in Kovacic, but Balogun is alive to the danger and hacks it clear
78' Musa swings a useless ball out of play. Sigh. Meanwhile Croatia turn on the ludicrously talented Mateo Kovacic to replace the brilliant Ante Rebic. The squad depth of this Croatia side is magnificent
77' EI! EI! EI! COME ON LAD! Mikel played a lovely ball into Iheanacho and went for the return, but the Leicester man opted to go for the shot from the tight angle and screwed it hopelessly wide
76' Rebic turns Shehu out this way, then that, then the other again. He's having fun now. Meanwhile during the goalkick, Iheanacho replaced Ighalo
75' OH! OH! Perisic floated in a hopeless ball into Uzoho's gloves, but the young man immediately gave it away with a horrible throw to the edge of the box. Moses and Idowu, though, did enough to see to it that Rebic and the ball was shepherded away for a goalkick
74' After all sorts of pinball inside the box, Nigeria hack it clear. Modric wins it back immediately and tees up Rakitic for the cross; but it's thumped clear by the impressive Balogun. Croatia still have the ball, though
73' Surely this game is beyond the Super Eagles. Surely this group is beyond their reach too? A Nigerian attack ends with Croatia steaming forward on the corner, Vrsaljko playing in Rebic with the most sublime backheel - and Rebic wins  a corner
Modric sends Francis Uzohu the wrong way and passes it into the opposite corner. Lovely penalty. You watching, Leo?
69' OH! PENALTY! CROATIA! The ref adjudges Troost-Ekong to have wrestled Mandzukic to ground. And he's right! Yellow too for the Nigerian
68' Croatia move menacingly forward and Perisic wins a corner off Shehu with a superb run. He's been good this game, has Ivan Perisic
67' Nigeria are passing it around the middle of the park - Croatia perfectly happy to let them do so and wait for a mistake. Rebic pounces on one, but the Croats struggle to piece together a move forward
66' OOOOOOO! MOSES AND STRINIC CLASH INSIDE THE BOX! MOSES GOES DOWN.... and the ref asks him to get on with it. Correctly
65' Modric and Rebic look to combine to cut through the Nigerian backline, but Etebo is having none of it - he intercepts and runs forward powerfully, only to be brought down by Brozovic
64' Perisic hustles away from Ndidi by dint of sheer pereverance and Croatia move forward. The ball gets shifted out to Rakitic who almost finds Perisic again with a peach of a ball but Shehu's alive to the danger
63' Troost-Ekong does superbly to get to it ahead of his foe Mandzukic, corner though for Croatia. From which Mandzukic loops a harmless ball well wide. 
62' Ahmed Musa comes on for Alex Iwobi as Gernot Rohr looks to change things up for the Super Eagles. His first job will be to help defend a Luka Modric setpiece
61' Croatia have now moved Luka Modric up forward, and this can only spell more danger for the Nigerian defence. 
60' Kramaric, who's run himself into the ground, gets hooked for the brilliantly named Marcelo Brozovic
59' Nigeria sweep forward with intent again and Bryan Idowu sends in a decent looking ball that's headed meekly into Subasic's hands by Ighalo. Still. counts as a shot on target. Their first of the night! And it's come an hour into the game
58' Moses, who's run his socks off all day, slips from Strinic's attentions with a quick shimmy - before curling a useless ball into Subasic's hands. Ighalo looks disgusted
55' OH! CROATIA! REBIC SMASHES THE BALL OUT HIGH FROM EIGHT YARDS OUT! It all started with Modric stealing the ball from a loose Shehu pass. After being stopped by Troost-Ekong, Rakitic won the ball back and slipped in Perisic with a lovely ball. The Inter man found Rebic with a peach of a ball but he couldn't apply the finishing touches. Oh, wouldn't have mattered anyway, linesman had his flag up
54' Moses' delivery is way too deep, and Iwobi recovers on the opposite flank. His delivery in-turn is well headed out by Lovren.  
53' Croatia have hardly seen any of the ball in this half. Considering the quality they have out there on the field, that's criminal. Moses presses forward and wins a throw-in near the corner flag - from which Ndidi wins a proper corner
51' OOOO! IWOBI! The Arsenal lad's shown flashes of promise all day; he and Ndidi combine to almost break through into the six yard box, but undeterred by his failed attempt he regains composure and tries to pick out Ighalo in the middle; who ends up fouling Strinic on his way to the ball
50' Etebo drives forward powerfully - and Mandzukic is forced to bundle him over before he enters any areas of real danger. Moses will once again look to reat something out of this
49' Nigeria have looked calm and confident on the ball - till they've reached the final third - and as if to prove my point, Nigeria pass their way to the Croatian box beautifully till Moses cuts back inside and smacks it wide of Subasic's near post
48' The second one is defended well by Perisic who heads it out the other way, forcing Nigeria to build from the back again
47' Nigeria win a corner as Strinic heads away Mikel's ball from reaching Moses. OH!!!!!!!! BALOGUN RUNS ONTO A LOVELY MOSES BALL BUT IS JUST BEATEN TO IT BY MANDZUKIC. AND AGAIN! Two corners in a row now
46' Moses does well to close Strinic down and win a throw in off Vida near the Croatian corner flag. Ndidi Delaps it into the box, but Vida wins it ahead of Ighalo

The Croats go into the break with a deserved lead. See you in fifteen. 
45' +1' of two. Moses absolutely larrumps one out of play into row Z, where an amiable looking Croat doesn't want to part with the ball. Hah. Scenes. 
45' OOOOOO! Moses lifted it up to Troost-Ekong, who manages to cushion back into the area. Iwobi steamed onto it and absolutely leathered one at goal that Mandzukic did superbly to get his considerable frame in front of
44' Moses gets fouled at the edge of the box, out on the right flank, and he himself lines up the freekick
43' Troost-Ekong pings a lovely surface-to-air scud missile out to Idowu and as Nigeria turn on the style with a Moses backheel amongst some slick one-touch passing, they move forward with real purpose. 
42' AIY AIY AIY! Perisic cushions a looping ball in from Rakitic to Mandzukic and the Juve striker tees up Vrsaljko... who smashes it back to Zagreb
41' Rebic's got a knock to his knee and he's getting an icebag pressed on his sore joint. Everyone takes the chance to catch a breath and a sip of water or which energy drink is the official (TM) partner of the FIFA (TM) World Cup (TM)
40' OW! OW! OW! Kramaric certainly looks up for it tonight. Rakitic whips in a superb ball into the box where Kramaric works himself a foot of space before glancing a header just over Uzoho's crossbar
39' Vrsaljko motors forward once again as he chases a neat Rebic flick on and almost wins a corner off Iwobi, the Arsenal lad doing well to limit the damage to a throw-in
38' WOOF! Kramaric sets Vrsaljko on his way with a sublime dink, but the Atleti man's delivery into the box is well handled by Balogun
37' He forgets he's playing football suddenly, though, as he wrestles Etebo to the ground at the halfway line. Luckily no caution, and Lovren thumps the set piece clear
36' Interesting question Shankar, he certainly looks in the mood tonight
35' Moses looks to jog into the Croatian half - a touch lackadaisical in his attitude I must say, and he doesn't notice Perisic steaming in behind to steal the ball back. 
34' OOOOH! Nigeria look for an immediate response, but as Ighalo steams into the box, Vida puts in a superb tackle to make sure Subasic is not called into play
OH NO! OH NO! Modric takes a superb corner, Rebic flicks it on at the near post, Mandzukic throws himself at it and the Juve star's header smashes into Etebo's leg and into the net! Unlucky!
31' Kramaric sells Shehu down the Volga with a peach of a swivel, before doing him in once again with another shuffle of his hips. He then delivers a useful ball into Mandzukic, who chests it down to Rebic... and the winger wins a corner with a fierce shot that deflects of Balogun
30' Foul for Rakitic as he dives in with a stamp on Victor Moses. That looked BAD! Well deserved caution, that
29' Troost-Ekong tries to Modric the ball out to Iwobi, but Vrsaljko reads it perfectly, and knowing how upset El Cholo would be if an Atletico man lost out a header to an Arsenal lad, wins the ball comprehensively
28' Rakitic plays in the effervescent Rebic with a sweet through ball, but the winger's cross into the box is hopeless. Mandzukic is not best pleased
27' Perisic swings a nice little ball into the box, Rebic clambers over Idowu to get to it and try and cushion it down to Kramaric; but he gets penalised for a push. 
26' Iwobi tries a slow burn one-two with Moses, but the Chelsea's man return to the Arsenal lad is hopeless and Croatia press forward upon intercepting.
25' Modric sprays another peach of a 70-yarder across the park to Perisc, but as he tries a give and go with Kramaric, Shehu cuts it out and Nigeria start with their passing game. 
24' Balogun's back on!
23' With one man less on the field, Nigeria suddenly look susceptible to the ball into the box and Perisic almost finds Kramaric with a teaser; only for Shehu to punt it well clear in the no-nonsense manner
22' OOOO! After a bit of pinball inside the box, Lovren smashing into Balogun along the way, the ball lands at Ndidi's feet just outside. He then proceeds to smack a tame, tame volley well wide of Subasic's left hand post. Balogun, meanwhile has to step out for a spot of treatment. 
21' Moses plays in Ighalo down the right, and the big man wins a corner. 
20' Victor Moses, you beauty! The winger cuts in, swerves out, and leaves Rebic a mess. The Croat seems to have fouled Moses to stop his opponent at the edge of the box but the ref's uninterested. 
19' Rakitic runs over it, Modric chips it into Perisic at the far side, but Uzoho reads all this to perfection and collects calmly
18' Modric's corner is rubbish, and Ighalo easily steers it out of danger, and out of play. Croatia will look to build from the back again. They do so and Leon Balagoun runs over Kramaric in his enthusiasm to get to the ball. Freekick Croatia.
17' Modric swings an absolutely delicious 70 yard crossfield out to Rebic, the Croats keep it down the left a bit, and win a corner off Moses. 
16' Kramaric gets on the ball, for the first time in what feels like ages, and has a go from well out. It smacks harmlessly wide of Uzoho's right hand post. 
15' At 19, Uzoho is the World Cup's youngest goalkeeper. Baptism by fire and all that. 
14' Croatia spring forward immediately - Rebic their ever willing outlet. He pings it in to Mandzukic, who cushions it Perisiccccccc.... OH PERISIC! The Inter man absolutely leathers a shot inches above young Francis Uzoho's crossbar
13' Iwobi smashes a ball into a crowd of white and red - as much as the effects were useless, the shot had plenty of sting behind it. The ball bounces out to Mikel, who lifts a LOVELY dink into the feet of Etebo who just can't get it under his spell
12' OH MIKEL! The Nigerian captain robs his Croatian compatriot with absurd, almost comical ease, and lifts a teasing ball into the box where Subasic collects calmly ahead of a leaping Ighalo
11' After nearly 120 seconds of keeping possession, a sudden ball is played out down the right by Mikel, but it's got a touch too much oomph for Moses
10' Nigeria are passing it around with calm authority. The Croat-majority crowd hates it and are booing rather vociferously. The sizeable Nigerian contingent is stung into action and increase their decibel levels in turn. Fun, fun. 
9' It's taken short, and with Nigeria holding their shape well, Rakitic is forced to take out Victor Moses as he looked to burst forward on the break
8' A lovely looping ball from Modric is treated with caution by Shehu and Croatia have a corner.
7' Aiy aiy. Alex Iwobi plays a couple of neat passes in midfield but in trying to pick out Ighalo he punts it straight to Subasic. Who's a good 35 yards away from Ighalo
6' Like their first set piece, the delivery is horrible and Croatia break at supreme pace down the left. Rebic once again the instrument. Moses, though, does well to atone for his error and shepherd Croat and ball out for a goalkick 
5' Mandazukic and Etebo go down in a tangle of long, lanky limbs. Moses will pump it in from the freekick. 
4' Croatia's midfield is pure porn. Modric and Rakitic move it around with pleasing ease before the Barca man looks to pick out Rebic's late run down the left. Moses has done well to help with providing cover down the flanks, though, and he acrobatically hacks it away
3' OOO! Ante Rebic bombs forward after Luka Modric sends him on his way with a peach of a ball. Rebic then swings  wild one into the box where Balagoun mops up smartly
1' Dejan Lovren gives away a foul within the first 15 seconds. Of course, he does. The Croats do well to stop Mikel's set piece causing trouble

Croatia in their lovely red and white check shirts and white shorts will kick from left to right as you'd see it on the telly. Nigeria kick off the other way clad in an even more aesthetically pleasing all-dark-green. Jersey heaven
The two national anthems have run out, Nigeria clad in their SPECTACULAR tracksuit jackets, hands have been shaken, photos have been taken. Modric and Mikel will now meet up for the coin toss
 Matteo Kovacic, Real Madrid standby is now Croatia standby, as Dalic decides to squeeze as many wingers as he can into the team. They have sacrificed control for pace -- but will their shape stand the test of Nigeria's athleticism? Let me know what your opinions are - ping me @AnirudhMenon89 on twitter or if you'd rather prefer the world's most antiquated form of communication, drop in a mail to

Nigeria XI (4-5-1): Francis Uzoho; Brian Idowu, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Shehu Abdullahi; Victor Moses, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, John Obi Mikel, Alex Iwobi,; Odion Ighalo

Croatia XI (4-2-3-1): Danijel Subasic; Sime Vrsaljko, Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Ivan Strinic; Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic; Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric, Ante Rebic; Mario Mandzukic
Nigeria vs Croatia - Kickoff time, Venue, TV Schedule, Live Streaming details

Kickoff time: 9:00 PM Local Time | 12.30 AM IST (that's 0030 on the 17th for you, soldier)
Venue: Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad
TV Schedule: Ten 2, Ten 2 HD in India, ITV in the UK, SuperSport in Nigeria, Fox in the US
Live Stream: Sonyliv - but why disturb the folks when you can just follow it here!

Nigeria vs Croatia - Team News

Odion Ighalo is set to pip Kelechi Iheanacho to the centre-forward's spot on his 29th birthday (Happy Birthday, big fella), but the big news is that Wilfried Ndidi has been given the all-okay after a hamstring injury scare -- he ought to take his usual place in the middle of the field. However, defensive stalwart Leon Balogun is a doubt after missing training and Gernot Rohr will be sweating bullets over the big man's fitness.

The only nailed on starters for Croatia are Daniel Subasic, Ivan Perisic, Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric, and Mario Mandzukic -- every other place is up for grabs and it'll be interesting to see who Zlatko Dalić picks alongside his veterans. Nicola Kalinic, Ante Rebic, Mateo Kovacic, Andrej Kramari, Marcelo Brozovic all have their qualities. This is a fine, fine Croatia squad on paper. ​

Nigeria vs Croatia - Probable Lineups

Nigeria Predicted XI (4-5-1):
Francis Uzoho; Brian Idowu, Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong, Shehu Abdullahi; Victor Moses, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, Alex Iwobi, John Obi Mikel; Odion Ighalo

Croatia Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Danijel Subasic; Sime Vrsaljko, Domagoj Vida, Dejan Lovren, Ivan Strinic; Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic; Ivan Perisic, Andrej Kramaric, Ante Rebic; Mario Mandzukic

Nigeria vs Croatia - Form Guide (all competitions - most recent first)​

The Super Eagles are coming off a rather horrendous run of results; their last game - a friendly against an under-strength Czech Republic in a rainy Austria was as bad a football match as any of us here at SK recollect seeing in recent memory.

Nigeria: LLDLWL

Most recent game: 06/06/18: Czech Republic 1 - 0 Nigeria

The Croats are such a mercurial side, on their day unstoppable at others utterly dire. It's ludicrous how the team who smashed their way to 3rd in their debut World Cup have never come close to touching those heights ever since. Their recent form guide gives us absolutely no indication of how they might play this one.

Croatia: WLWLDW

Most recent game: 08/06/18: Croatia 2 - 1 Senegal

Nigeria vs Croatia - Head to Head

Games Played: 0

Nigeria Wins: 0
Nigeria have won just one of their last six World Cup matches against European sides (drew one, lost four), beating Croatia's neighbour's Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2014.

Croatia Wins: 0
Croatia's only previous World Cup game against African opposition saw them beat Cameroon 4-0 in June 2014.

Draws: That is but elementary [math], my dear Watson. Really, really, elementary

Nigeria vs Croatia - Prediction

In what is commonly being regarded as the Group of Death, this is a crucial encounter for both sides. Prediction? Nigeria 1 - 2 Croatia​
M. Brozović
S. Nwankwo
J. Obi Mikel
M. Pjaca
M. Mandžukić
M. Kovačić
A. Rebić
K. Iheanacho
O. Ighalo
L. Modrić, Penalty
W. Troost-Ekong
A. Musa
A. Iwobi
M. Brozović
A. Kramarić
O. Etebo (Own Goal)
I. Rakitić
Nigeria (4-2-3-1)
Gernot Rohr (Manager)
D. Subašić
I. Strinić
D. Vida
D. Lovren
Š. Vrsaljko
L. Modrić
I. Rakitić
A. Rebić
A. Kramarić
I. Perišić
M. Mandžukić
F. Uzoho
B. Idowu
L. Balogun
W. Troost-Ekong
A. Shehu
O. Etebo
W. Ndidi
V. Moses
J. Obi Mikel
A. Iwobi
O. Ighalo
Nigeria (4-2-3-1)
Gernot Rohr (Manager)
Croatia Subs
M. Badelj
F. Bradarić
M. Brozović
T. Jedvaj
N. Kalinić
L. Kalinić
M. Kovačić
D. Livaković
J. Pivarić
M. Pjaca
D. Ćaleta-Car
V. Ćorluka
Nigeria Subs
D. Akpeyi
J. Obi
C. Awaziem
T. Ebuehi
E. Echiejile
I. Ezenwa
K. Iheanacho
A. Musa
J. Ogu
K. Omeruo
O. Onazi
S. Nwankwo
11 SHOTS 14
20 FOULS 16
Pos Club P W D L GD Pts
Group A
1 Uruguay 3 3 0 0 5 9
2 Russia 3 2 0 1 4 6
3 Saudi Arabia 3 1 0 2 -5 3
4 Egypt 3 0 0 3 -4 0
Group B
1 Spain 3 1 2 0 1 5
2 Portugal 3 1 2 0 1 5
3 Iran 3 1 1 1 0 4
4 Morocco 3 0 1 2 -2 1
Group C
1 France 3 2 1 0 2 7
2 Denmark 3 1 2 0 1 5
3 Peru 3 1 0 2 0 3
4 Australia 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Group D
1 Croatia 3 3 0 0 6 9
2 Argentina 3 1 1 1 -2 4
3 Nigeria 3 1 0 2 -1 3
4 Iceland 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Group E
1 Brazil 3 2 1 0 4 7
2 Switzerland 3 1 2 0 1 5
3 Serbia 3 1 0 2 -2 3
4 Costa Rica 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Group F
1 Sweden 3 2 0 1 3 6
2 Mexico 3 2 0 1 -1 6
3 Korea Republic 3 1 0 2 0 3
4 Germany 3 1 0 2 -2 3
Group G
1 Belgium 3 3 0 0 7 9
2 England 3 2 0 1 5 6
3 Tunisia 3 1 0 2 -3 3
4 Panama 3 0 0 3 -9 0
Group H
1 Colombia 3 2 0 1 3 6
2 Japan 3 1 1 1 0 4
3 Senegal 3 1 1 1 0 4
4 Poland 3 1 0 2 -3 3
Tournament FIFA WC 2018 - Week 1
Stadium Stadion Kaliningrad
Match time Sun, 17 Jun 2018, 12:30 AM
Updated: Jun 17, 2018 02:23 AM | Published: Jun 16, 2018 23:31 PM
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