Dalic: Croatia’s World Cup opener against Nigeria will decide group

Dalic: Croatia’s World Cup opener against Nigeria will decide group
Zunis Stopilla of Zambia challenges Obi Mikel of Nigeria during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match between Nigeria and Zambia on 07 October 2017 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria ©Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Feb 16, 2018. 09:30

Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic has stated that the most important game in their 2018 FIFA World Cup group is the opener against Nigeria on June 16.

The encounter between the two teams will take place at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad, Russia.

Croatia qualified for the global tournament after defeating Greece 4-1 on aggregate in the playoffs.

''That's right, but we're always ambitious, we're going to be world champions and I respect that,'' Dalic told Sportske Novosti.

Nigeria booked their place in the finals after winning their qualifying group which featured Cameroon, Zambia and Algeria.

''I am ambitious and want to do all the best and the best. The first goal must be to pass the group. The first match against Nigeria will be the decider. They are the key to everything.

''Then Argentina is where we can not look for much. They will be the easiest, because we have nothing to lose. The last is against Iceland, and it is possible that everything will be resolved.''

Group D also features Iceland and Argentina. The two teams will lock horns at the Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow, Russia on June 16.

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