Croatia, Nigeria needing different things
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This Wednesday’s Group D encounter between Nigeria and Croatia should make for fascinating viewing. The African side are on a high after their emphatic 5-0 demolition of Guatemala, while Croatia will be looking to redress the balance following their unexpected 2-0 defeat to underdogs Saudi Arabia.   

The match
Croatia-Nigeria, 3 August, 20.00 (local time), Armenia

The stakes
Despite their impressive opening performance, Nigeria know that Croatia will prove a tougher nut to crack, and coach John Obuh will be hoping star forward Ahmed Musa is on song.

Croatia may have gone down against Saudi Arabia but coach Ivan Grnja remains optimistic about his side’s chances: “We’ve got two games still to play and we just need to perform better than we did in the first match.” To do that, the 62 year-old will have to address the issue of a misfiring attack that got off 15 shots against Saudi Arabia without finding the back of the net. 

The stat
2 – The number of goals Nigeria need to become the top-scoring African side in the history of the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Current leaders Ghana have 55 to their name, giving Obuh’s men an extra incentive to keep the goals flowing.  

The words
Zvonko PamicCroatia midfielder: “We were unlucky against Saudi Arabia. We had a number of chances to score, and now we have to beat Nigeria in a much harder game. They’re an excellent side, as we all know, but we can win if we improve our performance.”

John Obuh, Nigeria coach: “We’ll be very wary going into the game against Croatia. A win will be a big boost to our chances of going through, but we want to avoid a loss at all costs.”