Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr has said his side’s first match at the FIFA 2018 World Cup against Croatia is the most important of all three group ties.
The Eagles were drawn in Group D alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina for the global showpiece holding in Russia from June 14 to July 15 2018.
Rohr, who led the team through an undeafeted qualifying series to make a sixth appearance at the tournament, believes that a win over Croatia will erase pressure on the Eagles ahead of their second game.
Speaking to a Complete Sport reporter moments after the draw ceremony at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow on Friday, Rohr said: “The first game (against Croatia) is the most important because you need to start well for your confidence.
“Croatia are better ranked than us by FIFA so we are supposed to be the weakest team in the group. If we win the first game, it will help us against Iceland in the second game because we will not be under pressure.”
Nigeria will be facing their group opponents at three different locations in Russia, and the German technician called for quick and efficient planning and preparation for his team.
“Our first game is in Kaliningrad which is in the western part of the country. Then we travel to Volgograd in Central Russia to face Iceland before goint to St Petersburg for the final game against Argentina. All of these require planning and preparations.”
He added: “We have a young team. We are getting better so we will be humble and continue to work hard in other to bring happiness to the Nigerian people,” he added.
Nigeria will kick off their campaign when they play Croatia on June 16, 2018.
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