MX23RW : Friday, July 20 03:23:32
Jun 16, 2018 at 8pm UK at ​Kaliningrad Stadium
Attendance: 31,136
Croatia
2-0
Nigeria
Etebo (32' og.), Modric (72' pen.)
Rakitic (30'), Brozovic (89')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Gernot Rohr defends Nigeria performance

Gernot Rohr defends Nigeria performance
© Reuters
Nigeria boss Gernot Rohr defends his team's overall performance against Croatia in their 2018 World Cup opener on Saturday night.

Nigeria boss Gernot Rohr has defended his team's overall performance against Croatia on Saturday night.

The African nation suffered a 2-0 defeat to Croatia in their first match at the 2018 World Cup, and now face an uphill task to progress from Group D.

Both of Croatia's goals came from corner kicks, and Rohr has insisted that Nigeria's problems stemmed from set pieces rather than their tactical approach, which has been heavily criticised following the match.

"I think the organisation was okay. We didn't concede from normal play, we conceded from set-pieces," Rohr told reporters. "Our system was okay. We cannot play with three when there is only one centre-forward, so we played with four because Croatia had three strikers.

"What we were missing was to be more professional on set-pieces. Each game is different, we will see for the next game. We know we can play with three centre-backs but today (Saturday) was not that day."

Next up for Nigeria is a clash with Iceland on June 22, before finishing their group campaign against Argentina on June 26.

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The Nigerian team lines up ahead of the World Cup warm-up match with England at Wembley on June 2, 2018
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