Nigeria has bright chances to qualify for the next round of matches.
Coach Safet Susic of Bosnia Herzegovina has praised Nigeria’s performance after his team suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Super Eagles Saturday.
Susic said while he expected a competitive match, the Nigerians surprised his side with speed and movement.
“It was an open game, two teams wishing to win, lots of chances at either end. We had a lot of chances and didn’t convert any,” Susic said.
“They Nigerians had one and scored that goal. I can only congratulate them. We knew they would be tough but they surprised us with their speed and movement.
“They played attacking football, they really wanted to win. Now they are in second place in the group with great chances to progress,’’ he said.
Super Eagles Head Coach Stephen Keshi hailed the performance of his team, saying hard work helped in the turnaround of the National team.
The Eagles played a drab draw against Iran in its first match in Cruitiba.
Keshi, who spoke at a post-match news conference, said “I knew I have the players to do it. All they wanted was a challenge to bring out the best in them.
“Everybody is happy in West Africa; Ghana got their result too and we won. It’s good for the continent.
“But look at Iran today (Saturday), they strived to contain Argentina but for Lionel Messi, whose lone goal on added time ensured Argentina, straight qualification for the next round.
“We need to work hard for the game against Argentina,’’ he said.
The only goal of the match was scored by Stoke City striker, Osaze Odemwingie, in the 29th minute to give Nigeria her first World Cup win since France 1998.
At the country’s third appearance in South Africa in 2010, Nigeria had a drawn game against Greece and lost against Argentina and Korea.
Odemwingie, who was the Budweiser Man of the Match, said the goal meant a lot to him.
“The win was down to 90 minutes of concentration and effort from my team-mates. “The most important thing was the character. We even enjoyed defending together. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this country,” he said.
“Playing for my fatherland is an honour and a pleasure. What better way to come back than playing in a World Cup.
“Being back with my friends made me happy. I didn’t expect to come back and score a winner in such an important game but I’m very happy.
“But this was a point the team earned. Right now I’m so high at our team’s performance and chances of progressing to the next level,’’ Odemwingie said.
To qualify for the next round, Nigeria needs a draw against Argentina, or for Iran to draw or lose its last group game against Bosnia and Herzegovina.