Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Culture | By Margie Dunn

Why we lost to Croatia - Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr reveals

Why we lost to Croatia - Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr reveals

Former Super Eagles star Peter Osaze Odemwingie has reacted to Nigeria's opening match against Croatia on Saturday.

The Eastern Europeans broke the deadlock in the first half as a Mario Mandzukic's header was unfortunately steered home by Oghenekaro Etebor.

An own goal from midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo and a penalty from Luka Modric condemned Nigeria to a 2-0 defeat at the Kaliningrad Stadium.

"We know we made some mistakes, too many important mistakes, and it is clear that we need to get better in order to move on", News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The Super Eagles skipper said he was baffled at the manner the team conceded two goals from set pieces.

And when William Troost-Ekong needlessly dragged Mandzukic down in the box, captain Modric coolly converted the 71st-minute penalty to give Croatia a winning start on their fifth appearance at the finals.

"Our organisation was good, that is clear just as the tactics were not wrong, but we need to be more professional in the way we take the set-pieces".

The Super Eagles are now at the last position in the group as they face Iceland and Argentina in the remaining group matches on June 22 and 26, respectively. "We keep smiling, we are disappointed, and we will try to be better in the next game", he said.

Looking ahead to that clash in Nizhny Novgorod next Thursday, Modric told reporters: "It is going to be a hard match, maybe against the favorites in our group".

"They (Argentina) have quality but this win will boost our confidence and I hope we can play well against them", Modric, who excelled in his role as a playmaker, told reporters.

"It will be tough, granted, but they will have to play for a win because of the scoreline today that they never expected".

"He had Ivan Rakitic of FC Barcelona and Luka Modric of Real Madrid playing against him, and they are of good quality and playing for clubs bigger than that of Mikel who plays in China".

"So he really did well", he said.

"I believe that on the wings of this win we will up our game and continue our journey in the way that we planned before coming here". He only had big work to do with the full back, and this took much out of him. "We have the youngest team in the World Cup - let them learn from this, and we will do better".

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