By Nnamdi Ezekute in Kaliningrad:
Super Eagles midfielder, Oghenekaro Etebo, has admitted that the team’s main undoing in the 2-0 defeat to Croatia in their first Group D match of Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup on Saturday was poor handling of set-piece situations, but remains optimistic that the team will improve and get better results from the next games.
“Sad that we lost the first match, but that’s football. What is important now is that we put that behind us, and stay stronger for the next match,” Etebo told Completesportsnigeria.com after the game at the Kaliningrad Stadium.
“Everyone is talking about our poor handling of set-pieces in the match. Yes, we didn’t do well there. That has been
noted. We actually have been working on set-pieces in our training sessions.
“Apart from the friendly games and in this game against Croatia, most of the goals we have conceded were from set-pieces. We have to take it more seriously, improve on that because it’s important to the team going forward.
“We’ll certainly fight to win the next game against Iceland. The first game against Croatia has been lost, but we’re not out yet. We’ll fight to recover well in this group and qualify for the next round.”
Asked if he was disappointed with his own-goal that gave Croatia a lucky 32nd lead in the match, Etebo said: “It was a deflection. I wasn’t disappointed. This happens in football.”