Still no joy for Africa as Croatia beat Nigeria

The wait for a first win by an African country at the 2018 World Cup in Russia continued as Nigeria suffered a 2-0 win over Croatia on Saturday.

By SportBrief Reporter

African teams continue their wait for a first World Cup win in Russia after Nigeria lost 2-0 to Croatia much to the dismay of football fans across the continent.

Oghenekaro Etebo’s own goal and a Luka Modric penalty gave Croatia a winning World Cup start against Nigeria in a poor Group D match in Kaliningrad.

Etebo, who joined Stoke City from Portuguese club Feirense for £6.35m on Monday, turned Modric’s first-half corner into his own net after Ante Rebic and Mario Mandzukic had both got touches.

Modric then converted a 71st-minute penalty – Croatia’s first shot on target – after William Troost-Ekong had manhandled Mandzukic at a corner.

In all honesty, Nigeria offered little attacking threat going forward, although Dejan Lovren blocked Alex Iwobi’s shot just before half-time, and Odion Ighalo glanced a Brian Idowu cross straight at goalkeeper Danijel Subasic.

Victory takes Croatia top of their group, after Iceland held Argentina 1-1 earlier on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Nigeria becomes the third African team to taste defeat at the tournament so far after Egypt and Morocco suffered 1-0 defeats to Uruguay and Iran respectively.

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