Luka Modric: Croatia's golden generation under no extra pressure in Russian Federation

Jun 17, 2018, 04:46
Luka Modric: Croatia's golden generation under no extra pressure in Russian Federation

Nigeria's World Cup hopes ran into traffic yesterday as Croatia overwhelmed the Super Eagles and ran away with a 2-0 win in their group D opener at the Kaliningrad Stadium.

Croatia should have doubled their lead in the 56th minute, when Ivan Perisic whipped the ball across the Nigeria penalty area from the left channel, only for Eintracht Frankfurt winger Ante Rebic to send his close-range volley wide.

Former Nigeria International Peter Osaze Odemwingie is of the opinion that Super Eagles could have performed better against Croatia if the team's coaches had changed their selection when they started trailing at half time.

Only once have they advanced from the group stage and that came 20 years ago in France.

Luka Modric insists Croatia's golden generation are under no extra pressure in Russian Federation, even though it could be the last World Cup for several members of their talented squad.

There is a sense of now-or-never for the Balkans nation at this tournament and Modric said his side would lift their game when they meet Lionel Messi's Argentina in their next match.

Nigeria are at the bottom of Group D as Croatia go top with three points, followed by Argentina and Iceland with one points each.

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic and Lokomotiv Moscow defender Vedran Corluka are also into their thirties, while Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic celebrates reaching that particular landmark next February.

"This first match is very important, it will set the tone for the rest of our tournament", Dalic said. "If we do exactly what we know we can do, to control the game and be aggressive, we can do well".

Modric's gilded right foot guided it to Uzoho's right side.

"It is only right that there are expectations of us, but first and foremost we expect of ourselves more than anyone else".

Nigeria lost 2-1 to England at Wembley and fell to a turgid 1-0 defeat by the Czech Republic to leave their German coach Gernot Rohr plenty of selection headaches, particularly in attack. However, if the Eagles are to truly overachieve, he will need to give them free rein, and let the madness in.

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