Abuja – A cross-section of football fans in Abuja on Friday expressed satisfaction with the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup draw, adding that Nigeria got “a fair deal’’.
2018 FIFA World Cup draw final: Nigeria in Group D with Argentina
Nigeria on Friday in Moscow drew Argentina for the fifth time in Super Eagles’ six appearances at the FIFA World Cup finals.
The Super Eagles were drawn alongside Argentina, Iceland and Croatia in Group D.
A cross-section of football fans who spoke with NAN at the Abuja National Stadium said in spite of the Super Eagles being drawn against Argentina, the draw was fair enough.
Nura Sanda, a medical doctor, said Nigeria was lucky to be in the group.
He added that it was another opportunity for the Super Eagles to prove to the world that their recent 4-2 win against the South American giants was not a fluke.
“The battle between Nigeria and Argentina has always been a thriller and the Eagles’ 4-2 win against the Argentines recently in a friendly match has made it even sweeter ahead of their Russia 2018 group stage encounter.
“I can’t wait to see the two sides clash again. As for our other opponents, I think Nigeria should be able to beat them comfortably and qualify for the knockout stage,” Sanda said.
Richard Omatiga, a businessman, was more expressive, saying “Nigeria and Argentina again? This Nigeria/Argentina love affair is becoming too much. Now they will be looking to revenge the humiliation they suffered from Alex Iwobi’s hands’’.
“Anyway, we should be able to make it to the round of 16.
“Even though the like of Croatia are not pushovers, boasting of players such as Perisic, Mandzukic, Modric and Rakitic. But I am confident that we can make it out of the group,” he said.
On his part, Obinna Nwafor, a civil servant, said: “Our group seems to be a tough but fair one’’.
“This is because it could have been worse like the Morocco situation where the Africans have been pitted against the likes of Euro champions Portugal and Spain.
“However, whatever group we are in, we need to progress. But, it is an exciting one.
“For us, we have to take each opponent very serious right from our first game against Croatia. But our aim has to be to top the group,” he said.
Seyi Dada-Martins, a multimedia consultant, also said: “It is a very dicey group we have been drawn into, but I’m confident in the abilities of the set of players we have to scale through the group stage.
“I think Croatia is a bigger threat in that group. Once you lock down (Lionel) Messi, Argentina is useless,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the Super Eagles players’ reactions, defender Leon Balogun was the first to take to his Twitter handle to express his opinion on the draw.
“Wow – what a draw! This group is a challenge, an honour, a chance, an opportunity…it’s fire!!!! World Cup baby,” Balogun wrote.
NAN reports that Nigeria will take on Croatia on June 16 in Kaliningrad, before facing Iceland on June 22 in Volgograd and Argentina on June 26 in St. Petersburg.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to kick off on June 14 and last till July 15.(NAN)