Coach of the Icelandic national team, Heimir Hallgrimsson, has found it hard to figure out how Nigeria turned over his boys to secure a 2-0 victory in their second match of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup Group D preliminaries in Volvograd on Friday.
Review the proceedings after Ahmed Musa netted twice in brilliant displays to overtake Iceland and Argentina and put Nigeria on good advantage to qualify for the second round of the competition, Hallgrimsson said his team lost character.
“They were unlike themselves. We were slow. It was not a brilliant in game second half. It could be temperature. Nigeria played well and were hard to beat. We have always played better than this. The game was very difficult,” Hallgrimsson began.
“We were not carried away by our draw against Argentina. We were pretty ready for Nigeria. What changed the game was the early goal in second half. We pushed forward and they made fast transitions and we conceded the second goal.”
“Our tactics, strategy were not wrong but we were toothless. We were sometimes dangerous but we lost penalty. Nigeria was very good against us and I hail Gernot Rohr for putting the act together.”
Despite the defeat which keeps them back at one point as they face smoking Croatia in their final match, Hallgrimsson said Iceland is still in contention for qualification to the second round.
“The loss is difficult to swallow but defeat is part of the game. Its a strange fact we are still in the race. We need to beat Croatia even though it is easy said than done. It will be difficult to do. We have played Croatia four times in two years and we have become like a couple finding it difficult to get a divorce. It is difficult playing Croatia. Everyone knows how well Croatia is playing. Our games always produce plenty of yellow cards and we go red card in three games. But we have confidence because we beat them once in our home.”
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