Rufai: My World Cup draw prayers for Eagles answered - FCNaija

World Cup 2018 By: Ambrose Udeme | 02/12/2017

Former Super Eagles goalkeeper Peter Rufai says he is happy with the outcome of Friday's World Cup draw in Moscow and reveals his prayers for as an easy group for Nigeria were answered.

For the fifth time in six FIFA World Cup appearances, Nigeria will be playing against Argentina in the group phase come next year summer in Russia. Three-time African champions Nigeria will also tackle European teams Iceland and Croatia in Group D.

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Dodomayana, as he is fondly called who competed professionally in Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, in a senior career that lasted twenty years, earned 65 caps for Nigeria, representing the West African nation at two FIFA World Cups -1994 and 1998. He was also a key figure in the squad that won the 1994 edition AFCON in Tunisia.

Reacting to the teams handed the Eagles following the draw in Moscow, the 54-year old retired international said: "I prayed for it somehow because I remember holding my rosary while they were picking the slots. I'm very glad that we had this group because. It's not a difficult group per say but a daisy one.

"It's a group in which we just have to be focused and make sure the first match means a lot because it determines the journey.

"The Croatians are very tactical and they're a very determined character when it comes to the game of football and I know very well that we Nigerians, we have such characteristics as well. But most importantly, I think Nigerians are on the High esteem as they have been cruising and I know very much that the Nigeria Football Federation have been doing a lot. They've done wonderfully, we really need to give kudos to the NFF and the technical department as well.

"With what I'm seeing, putting everything right, we're going to qualify for the next round for sure. If we beat Croatia, hopefully, because I believe the Super Eagles can beat the Croatian team, and then make sure they get it right against Iceland. From the minute they can get this right, then we're going to the next round." Rufai said in a ChannelsTV broadcast.

In Russia, the Super Eagles’ first match will be against Croatia Saturday, June 16, 2018, at the 35,000 –capacity Kaliningrad Stadium. For their second group match, Nigeria will fly to Volgograd, where they take on Iceland at the Volgograd Arena on Friday, June 22, 2018, before their final fixture against Argentina at the 68,000 –capacity Saint Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.

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