Ea­gles Can Make His­tory with Vic­to­ries over Croa­tia, Ar­gentina, Says Mikel

THISDAY - - FRIDAY SPORTS - Femi So­laja with agency re­ports

Su­per Ea­gles Cap­tain, John Mikel Obi, has de­clared that Nige­ria can go past tough World Cup first round foes Ar­gentina and Croa­tia on their way to mak­ing his­tory in Rus­sia next month.

Just like the qual­i­fy­ing campaign, Nige­ria is pitched in a tough-look­ing Group D at the tour­na­ment proper.

“I be­lieve we can beat Ar­gentina, Croa­tia and Ice­land, if we re­ally want it,” Mikel said on a spe­cial World Cup doc­u­men­tary.

“We want to make his­tory, to do well,” stressed the Tian­jin Teda mid­fielder.

Since mak­ing her de­but at USA ’94, Nige­ria has con­sis­tently failed to go past the Round of 16 achieved in that maiden out­ing in the five ap­pear­ances made at the Mun­dial so far.

Ea­gles thrice reached the knock­out rounds in 1994, 1998, 2014.

The for­mer Chelsea en­forcer ex­pressed con­fi­dence about the young Su­per Ea­gles.

“We have a very young team who want to go past the other teams in the group,” said the calm­ing in­flu­ence in the Nige­ria mid­field.

“No­body wants to let the team down.”

Sim­i­larly, Le­ices­ter City star Wil­fred Ndidi has said he hopes the Su­per Ea­gles win their first two World Cup Group D matches against Croa­tia and Ice­land be­fore a fi­nal group against Ar­gentina.

“It would be great to win our first two games be­fore we face Ar­gentina in our fi­nal group game,” Ndidi also said in the spe­cial World Cup doc­u­men­tary.

Ea­gles have lost on all four times they faced Ar­gentina at the World Cup.

The top two teams in the group will qual­ify au­to­mat­i­cally to the Round of 16.

Coach Gernot Rohr said just as the Ea­gles came through a tough qual­i­fy­ing group, they will fight to reach the knock­out rounds of the World Cup.

“We be­lieved in our team and won a dif­fi­cult qual­i­fy­ing group,” he said.

“We hope for a fan­tas­tic World Cup, we will like to have good re­sults.

“We have young play­ers, the youngest qual­i­fiers for the World Cup, and they will like to fight, they like to win.”

The three-time African cham­pi­ons open their campaign in Rus­sia on Satur­day, June 16against Croa­tia at Kalin­ingrad.

L-R Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral of Na­tional Coun­cil of Arts and Cul­ture, Se­gun Run­sewe and Pres­i­dent Gen­eral, Nige­rian Foot­ball and Other Sports Sup­port­ers Club, Dr. Raufu Ladipo, at an NCAC event mo­bil­is­ing 3 mil­lion sup­port­ers for Rus­sian 2018 in Abuja... re­cently

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