Nigeria vs Croatia : German coach Gernot Rohr kept faith in 19-year-old goalkeeper Francis Uzuho as he named an attacking Nigeria line-up for their Group D opener against Croatia in Kaliningrad on Saturday.

Nigeria vs Croatia
Croatia’s forward Mario Mandzukic (L) vies with Nigeria’s midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Croatia and Nigeria at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 16, 2018. / AFP PHOTO

Nigeria’s squad is the youngest at the tournament and the relatively untested Uzuho keeps his place despite a horror show against England in a warm-up game last month.

Though short on years, the Super Eagles also named Premier League regulars Alex Iwobi, Victor Moses and Wilfred Ndidi in their starting eleven.

Croatia enter the tournament with bags of international experience in their squad, and coach Zlatko Dalic named an attacking team containing La Liga stars Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, and Mario Mandzukic of Juventus.

Both teams will be looking to take advantage after Group D rivals Argentina and Iceland drew 1-1 in Saransk earlier on Saturday.


Danijel Subasic – Sime Vrsaljko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinic – Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric (capt), Ivan Perisic, Ante Rebic, Andrej Kramaric – Mario Mandzukic

Coach: Zlatko Dalic (CRO)


Francis Uzoho – Shehu Abdullahi, Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Brian Idowu – Oghenekaro Etebo, John Obi Mikel, Wilfred Ndidi, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi – Odion Ighalo

Coach: Gernot Rohr (GER)

Referee: Sandro Ricci (BRA)


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