By Eric Elezuo
The Super Eagles of Nigeria is set to make and prove a point come Tuesday when they come face to face again with the Argentine National team at the Krosnoda, Russia.
The Argentines, better known as The Albiceleste, are not taking any chances as they have invited best the country can offer including Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Mauro Icardi, Paulo Dybala, and a host of other stars ahead of the friendly encounter.
The Super Eagles, which is basking in the euphoria of fitness level having played against the Desert Warriors of Algeria only to pick a Russia 2018 World Cup, are poised to give the Argentines a run for their money.
On head to head, it will be recalled that the Nigerian side have beaten Argentina once at the senior level at all their meets.
However, registering their names as having beaten Argentina may not be the only onion in the soup now, as Gernot Rohr’s men must prove a point, especially with next year’s World Cup finals approaching, and who would be it against if not Jorge Sampaoli’s star-studded side.
The Argentina squad though has been decimated by injuries, they are still a force to reckon with. It is still being speculated if Messi will feature against Nigeria though he has arrived Russia already.
The Super Eagles and Argentina first ever clash at senior level was in the group stage of the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States. Nigeria lost 1-2 after opening scoring through Samson Siasia.
Again, in the 1995 FIFA Confederations Cup in Riyad, Saudi Arabia, the Super Eagles were forced to a 0-0 draw by Argentina in Group B.
At the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Nigeria again lost to Argentina by a lone goal via a Gabriel Batistuta second half goal after displaying a wonderful performance in their Group F game.
For the third time, the Super Eagles was in the same Group B with Argentina at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, and again lost by a lone goal.
For the first time, in 2011, the Super Eagles had the better of Argentina, thrashing the Albiceleste by 4 – 1 in an international friendly game played in Abuja.
In the same year, Argentina got back their pound of flesh, thrashing the Eagls by 3 – 1 in faraway Bangladesh.
The last time the Eagles clashed with LaAlbiceleste was at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, also in the group stage. Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2. Lionel Messi and Ahmed Musa each scored twice before Marcos Rojo’s goal sealed the win for Argentina.
History should not have a place in this game if the Super Eagles must come out with something tangible.