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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Nigeria leader Muhammadu Buhari praises
Super Eagles on vital 2-0 win against Iceland

ABUJA Nigeria (Xinhua) -- Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari on Friday showered encomiums on the country’s national team, Super Eagles, after defeating Iceland in a Group D match at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Buhari, in a statement, said: "confidence, discipline, team-work and the indomitable spirit displayed by the young Nigerians gave them victory."

Striker Ahmed Musa was the hero for Nigeria, as he scored the two goals that gave his side a vital 2-0 win against Iceland in the heat of the Volgograd Arena on Friday evening.

Buhari praised the team for "a job well done" and urged them not to limit themselves but sustain the current winning momentum by going all out against their last group opponent, Argentina, next Tuesday.

"I am confident that if our players believe in themselves they can qualify out of their difficult group and even go very far in the tournament," the Nigerian leader said.

The win puts the Africans second in Group D behind Croatia and means they have a great chance of qualifying for the last 16 if they avoid defeat to Argentina in the last group game, although a win for Argentina would see the South American side into the next round and Iceland still have a slim chance of qualifying if they can defeat Croatia.
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UPDATE:

It’s always steel-to-steel match against Croatia, says Iceland coach

VOLGOGRAD Russia (Xinhua) -- Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson said on Friday that his team will give all out to beat Croatia and expects a tough match against their old foes in the last round of the World Cup Group D actions.

Iceland lost 2-0 to Nigeria while Croatia defeated Argentina in the second round of the group phase.

The last round will see Iceland versus Croatia and Nigeria against Argentina.

"We know the scenario when we play Croatia.

"I know the match will be very hard and normally it is steel to steel, not a lot of chances but a lot of yellow cards and in three games out of four we have had a red card," Hallgrimsson said of their previous encounters.

Iceland finished above Croatia in their World Cup qualifying tournament and the two sides have met four times in the last four years.

"We are like a married couple that want a divorce, but we always meet again," Hallgrimsson said with a smile.

"We know what kind of game it is going to be.

Croatia have shown what they can beat strong teams. They have had two really good performances.

Their 3-0 victory against Argentina was a good example of how good Croatia is.

However, we also have confidence because we finished ahead of them in the qualifying tournament and we beat them once," the coach added.

Croatia now leads the group with six points and Nigeria is second with 3 points.

Both Iceland and Argentina collected 1 point apiece.

             

 

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