WORLD CUP PERMUTATIONS: What are Nigeria’s chances of progressing into the Last 16?

WORLD CUP PERMUTATIONS: What are Nigeria’s chances of progressing into the Last 16?

With the first two group matches of Russia 2018 concluded, all the 32 teams at this year’s world cup are set for the final group matches that would either determine seal qualification or see some countries actually playing for pride.

Group D, which houses a set of four highly competitive teams in Croatia, Argentina, Iceland, and Nigeria is not left out of this situation.


After the draws were made, bookmakers gave Argentina and Croatia the nod to easily make it out of this group, but as the competition commenced, a lot of football lovers across the world were stunned when Iceland, a first timer at the world cup, held Argentina to a 1 – 1 draw.

However, quite a lot of other people believed that the draw against Iceland was a temporary setback for the Argentines, but they were left bewildered when Argentina lost the second group game to Croatia by a huge margin of 3 goals.

The loss to Croatia seems to have sealed Argentina’s fate of a group stage ouster until Nigeria showed up to overturn her own disappointment in the first group game by defeating Iceland by a two-goal margin.

The Super Eagles, however, brightened her chances of qualifying from the group stage at this year’s world cup with the victory over Iceland, which in-turn change the narratives in the group.

On one hand, the win by Super Eagles was the tonic the Nigerian team needed to prolong their stay in Russia, but on the other hand, it resurrected the almost faded hope of the Argentine team to qualify for the second round.

With Croatia already guaranteed a qualification spot in Group D the remaining three teams, namely Nigeria, Iceland, and Argentina are battling it out for the final qualifying spot in the group.

Of these three, Nigeria is best positioned to seal the final qualifying spot. An outright win or a draw (of any shade) against Argentina on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, will guarantee Nigeria a qualification from the group stage regardless of the result between Croatia and Iceland.

However, an event that Nigeria fails to get a win or draw against Argentina, and Croatia lose to Iceland, the qualifying spot will be between Argentina and Iceland. At that point, the goals difference will be called to action between Argentina and Iceland.

Can Nigeria qualify from the group stage? Yes, Nigeria can.

Will Nigeria qualify?

This is a question for the Super Eagles and the technical crew to answer on Tuesday evening.

One sure thing is that with at least a draw against Argentina, Nigeria would have successfully zoomed into the second round of the world cup in Russia.

Guest Writer

Ogunmakinde Ademola

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