Icelandic coach Heimir Hallgrimsson insisted his team still has hopes of reaching the round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup, despite a disappointing 2-0 loss to Group D on Friday.
The Scandinavians started strong but were overtaken by the Super Eagles in the second half, when Ahmed Musa scored a double and Gylfi Sigurdsson missed a penalty.
Speaking at the post-match press conference – and quoted by the Nigerian website Complete Sports – Hallgrimsson said: "He is a stranger In fact, we are still in the race, we do not think we would go through this World Cup without losses and the losses are always difficult to swallow, but we just have to beat Croatia, which is possibly easier said than done. "
Iceland has faced Croatia in six World Cup qualifiers, four of which were won by the Croats. However, Iceland won the most recent of these clashes, which took place in June 2017 in Reykjavik. Hallgrimsson was very happy to point this out.
"They had two really good performances in the World Cup," he said, adding: "The last one was a shining example of how good Croatia is, but that also gives us confidence because we were ahead of them in our group. [qualifying] and we've already defeated them once in Iceland. "
Hallgrimsson jokingly compared Croatia to a former partner: "We have played Croatia four times in four years, and we have often said that we are like a married couple trying to get divorced, but we always meet again."
Iceland had an excellent start in their first World Cup final, drawing 1-1 with Argentina, a game they were widely expected to lose. Ironically, they were widely expected to win against Nigeria, but they looked very much like their best.
Iceland will face Croatia in Rostov on Tuesday, a match they need to win and have chances to move to the last 16. .