Nigeria football great Segun Odegbami is confident the Super Eagles are up to their Russia 2018 World Cup battle with Argentina on Tuesday
Odegbami, who starred as Nigeria won their first Africa Cup of Nations title on home soil in 1980, was with the Super Eagles after Friday night’s 2-0 victory over Iceland in Volgograd.
The win revived Nigeria’s hopes of qualifying for the round of 16 from a tight Group D, but they will need to get something from the clash against wounded Argentina in St Petersburg.
Odegbami, an accomplished writer who pens the syndicated column ‘Mathematical 7’, believes in his re-energised compatriots.
He wrote from Russia in a WhatsApp post on Saturday: “It is already the morning after. Things have changed around here. There is a fresh feeling of confidence, and Nigerians are walking around with a swagger.
“That’s what winning does. But all of that will only sustain until next Tuesday when we shall go through, once again, all the emotional, physical and psychological trauma of last Friday.
” Again, there will be the usual skyhigh expectations, infectious enthusiasm, pressure-cooker tension and unbridled passion.
“Fortunately, Argentinà are not the same powerful team that they were four years ago. Messi is also getting blunted by age and the noticeable depression of realising that his one tree can still not make a forest.
“On top of that we have defeated Argentina only a short while ago, and that puts them on a psychological edge going into this next do-or-die encounter.
“It is a match that only Nigeria can lose themselves, because right now Argentina have been tenderised by the last two matches they played and are waiting to be devoured by any serious effort.”
Along with the message, Odegbami posted a picture of himself in company with Senate President Bukola Saraki speaking with the Nigeria players.
The Super Eagles are second in Group D with three points, three behind leaders Croatia. A win for Nigeria will guarantee passage to the knockout rounds while a draw will be enough depending on the result between Croatia and Iceland.