I mean, its not just the Super Eagles that need to pack up and leave Russia, over 120 million Nigerians were there; physically, in spirit and through social media.
Not everyone has a physical luggage- but for those of us still trending hashtags, permutations and penalties that should have been ours…. its time to pack up. Before you leave, here is a look back at our short stay in Russia.
Welcome Super Eagles, Russia awaits your arrival !- Yep, they received a heroic welcome. Its not easy to qualify and play the world cup
The super Eagles flew on a private plane from Austria and arrived at their base city Essentuki in the early hours of June 12.
They were chauffeured to their hotel ,The Sanatorium which is about 35 kilometers from the airport. Alexander Nekristov, the Mayor of Essentuki, was there to welcome them
Same day, they quickly settled in for the official team photo
Three days to their Croatia matchup; They trained, enjoyed the sights of Russia and hung out at their nice hotel.
Had someone told them about their 2-0 defeat to Croatia, they may not have bothered with the slay pictures. Am sure it felt so surreal, its every player’s dream to be at the world cup!
Game day! June 16; Presidential delegation led by Solomon Dalung visit the boys, they also get some pep talk from NFF president Amaju Pinnick.
Nigeria – Croatia March; Stalingrad stadium. Final score 2-0; against Nigeria
Everything seems to have gone wrong. Etebo scored an own goal, Mikel obi was criticized for being too slow, Igalo was Isolated and Iwobi running all over the pitch.
Well, the obvious reactions followed…
The days following their defeat, the boys went silent on social media, while we flipped out our calculators: it was permutation time
Guys, I've done the permutations. Nigeria will qualify.
We'll beat Iceland. Croatia will draw v Argentina.
Croatia 4 pts
We'll draw vs Argentina. Croatia will draw Iceland
Croatia 5 pts
Can I get an amen?
— Yomi Kazeem (@TheYomiKazeem) June 17, 2018
No more slay pictures, there was positive silence among the team, the eagles surfaced again on social media, not with slay pictures but a promise to defeat Iceland
There was encouragement from every angle . Saraki was there, Seun Odegbami, Kanu Nwankwo, the Eagles really has some good propping up
Then just as though the stars were aligning in our favor, Croatia beat Argentina, a resounding 3-0.
Nice one from Croatia, now Nigeria just need to beat Iceland and draw Argentina! pic.twitter.com/21xpZhQevx
— 'Mide #BadBoyDrive (@MideMrPossible) June 21, 2018
— www.KRAKS.co (@KraksTV) June 21, 2018
Croatia needed Penalty and Own Goal to beat Nigeria.. But easily beating Argentina, Overrated, Wasted talents. #ARGCRO
— Osas Cruz (@OsasCruz) June 21, 2018
With loads of encouragement and from all angles and a shameful defeat aganist Argentina, the Eagles were re-energized and ready to soar in their next game.
Nigeria- Iceland (22nd June)
Ahmed Musa with the brace…. The boys did it. All their sins were forgiven. No one mentioned anything about team formation. All we needed was a draw Argentina . Most Nigerian fans were very optimistic- win, draw or die there.
Croatia beat us 2 – 0 but they beat Argentina 3 – 0
Argentina drew with Iceland 1-1, but we melted the ice 2-0
Therefore, with dy/dx and by almighty formula,
We can conclude that Nigeria will make Asun with the GOAT 1-0! Amen? pic.twitter.com/hfO8gaACjx
— Sarcastic Mechanic NG☺ (@darnjhay) June 22, 2018
But some of us were doubtful because Messi was on a mission to redeem himself and Nigeria would be the scape goat
Let's keep the record straight. Nigeria was not an active or passive participant in Croatia's plot to humiliate you. We are surprised as u are.
Please do not take out the frustration of today's outcome on our Aseobi boys.
Best Regards. pic.twitter.com/n0XqehkQLH
— JerriMeyerz (@JerriMeyerz) June 21, 2018
But the team did what they had to do : get ready
Nigeria – Argentina; St Petersburg stadium
Its so heart breaking because we played a good game, only for Argentina to score at the 86th minute. maybe the team could have focused on defence towards the last minutes, you know- ” build a wall around our net.
Some say we deserved a second penalty, I think we should have scored normally if we wanted the goal so badly.
Irrespective, we did not go down without a fight. Lets cheer for Senegal… cautiously though, we cant afford another heart break