World Cup: Argentina, Nigeria group favourites, says Argentine Ambassador

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Abuja – The newly-appointed Argentina Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Gustavo Dzugala, on Wednesday in Abuja backed Nigeria and Argentina to stage a successful outing at the World Cup in Brazil.

Nigeria is in Group F of the 2014 FIFA World Cup alongside Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran.

The Ambassador said that Nigeria and Argentina would qualify from Group F.

Dzugala predicted that both teams would win their matches against Iran and Bosnia-Herzegovina and were capable of reaching the semi-finals of the tournament.

“It will end as a battle for positions between both favourites in the pool for first and second on the table.

“But, if you really push me, I would say that it looks like Argentina winning the group, Nigeria finishing second, Bosnia in third and Iran fourth,” he said.

The envoy said that Group F winner would have a fairly clear route to the semi-finals.

“In theory they would face Ecuador or Switzerland in the round of 16.

“Belgium, Ghana, Portugal or U.S. in quarter-finals and a possible semi-finals with Spain seems an easier way to get to the final game,” Dzugala said.

Group F encounter between Nigeria and Argentina will for the fourth time in five appearances meet at the World Cup.

Both teams met at USA ’94, Japan/Korea 2002 and South Africa 2010.

Dzugala noted that though Stephen Keshi’s tutored-side had strength in every department with a formidable goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama.

“But the Lionel Messi factor will always be enough to put fear into any opponent in the tournament.

“However, there is absolutely no room for soft touches here with African champions, Nigeria at their strongest point in many years,” he said.

The World Cup is scheduled to take place in Brazil between June 12 and July 13. (NAN)

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