Iceland's Hordur Magnusson talks to fans after the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Victor Caivano)

Nigeria needs win against Iceland after opening defeat

June 20, 2018 - 6:08 am
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VOLGOGRAD, Russia (AP) — Few teams in this World Cup have underperformed their potential as much as Nigeria. And while it's still early in the tournament, few have exceeded expectations more than Iceland.

The teams meet in Volgograd on Friday in their second group match. Nigeria faces the prospect of an early exit if it loses after falling 2-0 to Croatia.

By contrast, Iceland would take a big step toward the round of 16 with a victory. Iceland is making its World Cup debut and no smaller nation has ever competed in the tournament. But there was no inferiority complex when it came to playing Lionel Messi and two-time world champion Argentina. The team played resiliently and earned a 1-1 draw.

Iceland captain Aron Gunnarsson says the adrenaline was high after the match and is urging his teammates to keep a lid on their emotions.

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