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EAGLES BEWARE! Why A Draw Against Argentina May Not Be Enough For Second Round Ticket

EAGLES BEWARE! Why A Draw Against Argentina May Not Be Enough For Second Round Ticket

By Kayode Ogundare

The Super Eagles clawed back from the brink of elimination at the 2018 World Cup with a sturdy 2-0 victory over Iceland which sent millions of Nigerians, and indeed, many Super Eagles fans across the world, into delirious ecstasy.

Now, from being the basement team, Nigeria has been catapaulted into second place, behind leaders Croatia who have a perfect six points from two games. Iceland and Argentina bring up the rear with a point each.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Croatia 2 2 0 0 5 0 +5 6
2 Nigeria 2 1 0 1 2 2 0 3
3 Iceland 2 0 1 1 1 3 −2 1
4 Argentina 2 0 1 1 1 4 −3 1

Going into the last round of games which pair Nigeria with familiar foes Argentina and Iceland against already-qualified Croatia, what is the minimum that Nigeria need to do to make it out of the group stage into the next round of the competition?

Contrary to the assertion by many pundits that a draw against Argentina will be enough to see the Super Eagles through, the rules of the competition according to FIFA does not substantiate this position.

Firstly, it must be established that none of the teams has been eliminated at this point. While Croatia are safely qualified, any one of Nigeria, Iceland and Argentina could join them in the next round depending on the results of their last group games.

As it were, it is possible for two teams to end up on four points, but not all three of them. If Nigeria draw against Argentina, the Super Eagles would finish with four points, same as Iceland in the event of the Vikings beating Croatia.

Alternatively, it could end up being Iceland and Argentina ending up on four points apiece if Iceland win against Croatia and Argentina get the better of Nigeria.

According to Regulations Article 32.5 of the rules guiding the competition, if two or more teams are tied on the same points, the following will be used to determine the team that goes through:

Tiebreakers

– Goal difference in all group matches (If Iceland defeat Croatia by a three-goal margin and Nigeria draw with Argentina, they will both end up on four points but Iceland will go through because they would have a better goal difference);
– Number of goals scored in all group matches (If Iceland defeat Croatia by a three-goal margin and Nigeria draw with Argentina, Iceland will go through because they would have scored more goals);

In the unlikely event that both Iceland and Nigeria are still tied after using the above two criteria, then the team that goes through will be determined as follows –

– Points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned (Nigeria will go through following their 2-0 victory which guaranteed three points over the Vikings);
– Goal difference in the group matches between the teams concerned;
– number of goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned;
– Fair play points
– First yellow card: minus 1 point;
– Indirect red card (second yellow card): minus 3 points;
– Direct red card: minus 4 points;
– Yellow card and direct red card: minus 5 points;
– Drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee.

As it stands, Nigeria have three points and will certainly qualify if they beat Argentina by any margin of victory and regardless of what Iceland are able to do against Croatia in the other game.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 14
  • Chima E Samuels 5 months ago

    Complete Sport thank you for your correction I and some sport panelist on Btsports had a different view in accordance to the old rule that eliminated Nigeria from the 2006 world cup.

  • Louis 5 months ago

    Thanks Complete Sports. With this, the blunder will be corrected.
    We need to bear Argentina! That is it. Cage for once that Messi that likes scoring against us any time he is fielded.
    Seriously need to up the psychology of the team so that they will come out as wounded lions going to devour the Argentines. I need us to qualify. I need a win please Super Eagles!

    • nijafan 5 months ago

      Messi only scored Nigeria once that’s was in 2014 world cup when he scored 2 goals 

  • Tokunbo L. 5 months ago

    Well that means am wrong, thought its gonna be head to head result with the team with same point first ,then goals diff. N then other factors follow, anyways as it stand i dnt see iceland winning croatia 3-0, n if that happen,it means croatia sold the game, to avoid story that touch the earth, we just av to go all out against our brother from another continent argentina n win them this time.

    • Beating Argentina on Tuesday will be more sweeter than our previous 4 losses to them.

  • Taiwo Evidence Ige 5 months ago

    Thanks for this insight! But does anyone in NFF contigence know these rules? If yes, have they communicated this to the team? Knowing how administratively careless we can be in this country, this is not to put them under undue pressure but to ginger and psyche the players for the task. So, let them players know ooooo. Playing against Messi’s Argentina shd be enough motivation but the knowledge of these rules will be an added pep!

  • Ayphillydegreat 5 months ago

    We just have to play to win against Argentina. Playing for a draw might be detrimental. Although the entire global audience will be shell shocked if Iceland beat Croatia by 3-0. Croatia is the best team in the group because they have the best Midfield in the world. Many castigated the SuperEagles for losing the first game, but they forgot that we played against the greatest midfield combo in world football.

    In all fairness SuperEagles were never outplayed in that encounter. However, maybe if we had stayed focused on our tried and tested 3-5-2 we might’ve come out with a draw against Croatia that looks like the dark horse of the tournament.

    I gave a tremendous kudos to coach Rohr for convincing our two most important players to revert to the positions that makes them household names. Victor Moses playing as a wing back for the first time in his SuperEagles career and captain John Obi Mikel playing as a central midfielder.

    Obi displayed a true captain legacy by dictating the tempo of the game from deep. Moses played with a sense of urgency, Musa’s pace was too much for the Icelandic defenders, Omeruo brought the physicality that’d been missing in our defense. The entire team displayed gritt and cohesion.

    Now we must stick to the 3-5-2 formation and the lineup with Ebuehi replacing Idowu. Ighalo should never come anywhere near our jersey for the rest of the tournament and beyond. Kelechi and Simy are way better as our top strikers. I wish my darling SuperEagles all the best against the Albicelestes. #FLY LIKE AN EAGLE INTO THE FUTURE#

    • Frank 5 months ago

      Hahaha bro i thought I was the only one seeing that ighalo is a minus 1 oo

      • Bello 5 months ago

        Right from the start of the match against Croatia to when Ighalo was brought in against Iceland, i have told those who cares to listen that taking Ighalo to Russia is a big blunder coach Rohr committed.

    • Murphy 5 months ago

      Flawless write up. I admire your patriotism bro.

  • Djeniko 5 months ago

    @Chima Samuel, now that you have seen that a draw may not guarantee a qualification from the group, will you apologize to Mikel and all other Nigerian footballers for saying they are uneducated since they “could not calculate.” An educated man will apologize when he realised his mistakes. An uneducated man will still be proud and refuse to apologize. The choice is yours.

  • Gwaba 5 months ago

    Good we should pray hard for the players to be more stronger.