Ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw in Russia on Friday, Completesportsnigeria. com’s JAMES AGBEREBI reveals how woefully the Super Eagles of Nigeria have fared against South American countries in the group stage of the World Cup…
ARGENTINA 2-1 NIGERIA (USA 1994)
Nigeria’s first ever encounter against a South American team in the group stage of the FIFA World Cup was against Argentina on the Super Eagles’ debut at the 1994 edition in USA.
Both Nigeria and Argentina were drawn together in Group D alongside Greece and Bulgaria.
Despite Nigeria taking a shock lead through Samson Siasia on eight minutes, Claudio Cannigia scored twice in the 21st and 28th minutes to give Argentina a 2-1 win.
PARAGUAY 3-1 NIGERIA (France 1998)
At the France 1998 World Cup, Nigeria for the second time were drawn with a South American team, this time Paraguay in Group D.
The two other teams in the group were Spain and Bulgaria.
After defeating both Spain (3-2) and Bulgaria (1-0), Nigeria faced Paraguay which was an inconsequential game for them, while the South Americans needed to win to qualify into the round of 16.
After 90 minutes, Paraguay won 3-1 thanks to goals from Celso Ayala (1st minute), Miguel Angel Benitez (58th minute) and Jose Cardozo (86th minute).
Wilson Oruma got Nigeria’s only goal in the 11th minute.
ARGENTINA 1-0 NIGERIA (Korea/Japan 2002)
For the third consecutive time since their debut at the USA 1994 World Cup, Nigeria were in the same group with a South American country, and for the second time, they found themselves in the same group with Argentina in Group F.
It was both countries first group game and after dominating a large part of the game, Argentina eventually won 1-0 through a Gabriel Batistuta goal in the 63rd minute.
ARGENTINA 1-0 NIGERIA (South Africa 2010)
After missing the 2006 World Cup edition in Germany, Nigeria returned in 2010 in South Africa and found themselves for the third time in the same group.
It was the fourth time Nigeria would be drawn together with a South American country in the group stage.
The two other teams drawn with Nigeria and Argentina in Group B were South Korea and Greece.
Nigeria went on to once again lose through a Gabriel Heinze sixth minute goal.
ARGENTINA 3-2 NIGERIA (Brazil 2014)
Just like in their previous four appearances, Nigeria had a South American team in the group stage for the fifth time and for the fourth time, they faced Argentina.
Drawn in Group F with debutants Bosnia Herzegovina and Iran, Nigeria and Argentina met in their last group game with Argentina once again winning by 3-2.
Lionel Messi (3rd, 45+1 minutes) and Marcos Rojo (50th minute) scored for Argentina, while Ahmed Musa scored Nigeria’s two goals in the fourth and 47th minutes.