This evening, precisely 8.00pm tonight, Nigeria's Super Eagles will file out against Croatian team. It's going to be a cracker. Very crucial indeed because, Croatia, like Nigeria, is a football nation. So expectations on both sides are high. Of course, there will be surprises, disappointments, and such unpredictable situations.
Many football enthusiasts and soccer pundits are already at work, looking at their cristal balls to predict the outcome of the yet to be played matches.
As a football lover, Chief Dennis C. Amobi, Chikeluba Abagana and owner of Asollo Football Club in Anambra State, spends both his time, money, talent, etc in the round leather affairs.
So for today's match between Nigeria and Croatia, even in the entire tournament of Russia 2018, cornered him. He has the rare habit of flying to watch the world cup tournaments live anywhere it is staged on earth but this very one he is around in Nigeria.
Chief D. C. Amobi believes that the current Super Eagles is really super because they broke the jinx of Nigeria being dominated by the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in football scenes. The beat Cameroon home and away, almost. They were walloped four zero here in Nigeria. It is a feat no Nigeria team of Super Eagles has ever done.
So this crop of Super Eagles has experience being coached by a tactical and technical football coach.
On the outcome of today's match, and how far and high our Eagles can fly in the mundial, he said, "Let's watch them play first and see their performance in the first three matches."
He was very optimistic that other African representatives - Egypt, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia would give good account of themselves.
However, to Mr. Tony Asiegbu, former goalkeeper of UNIPORT students football team, 1998-90, "All the teams that represent Africa are not mature yet to win the world cup. Nigeria has a good coach but has not been with the players for long time enough. We have talented players but they do not play as a team. They lack understanding of themselves hence the mistakes they make in distributing the ball accurately.
It took former coach West Horf quite to groom the team that did us proud in 1994. He started in 1983, and it took him five good years to raise a standard team that he took to the World Cup tournament. He started with 127 players, then out of this crowd he got 22 formidable players for 1994 World Cup in U. S. A. The players knew each other which this present team lacks. They don't understand themselves.
Thus, our chances are very slim unless miracles happen. Football is about miracles. If luck is on our side, we can go far but not to the level of winning the trophy. We can never go out in the preliminary. We will beat France, I am sure of that.
Group C: France vs Australia, time 11:00am
Group D: Argentina vs Iceland, time 2:00pm
Group C: Peru vs Denmark, time 5.00pm
Group D: Nigeria vs Croatia, time 8:00pm.