Heimir Hallgrimsson, the coach of Iceland, on Friday in Volgograd blamed fate for his team’s 0-2 loss to Nigeria in Group D of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
“My players performed in line with instructions all the same, the fact that the result was not good does not mean they did not do well.
“I praise them because they played against a very good Nigerian side,’’ he said at the post-match conference at the Volgograd Arena.
The coach, who said he expected the Eagles to play the way they played against them, however agreed that his team’s tactics did not work the way they planned it.
He said: “It is unfortunate that we lost to Nigeria in spite of the way we planned for the game.
“We did our best to prepare for them, especially the three-man defenceline. We even prepared in case they played a four-man defensive formation.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that after a goalless first half, two goals by Ahmed Musa in the second stanza helped to keep the Super Eagles in contention.
Hallgrimsson, however, commended Nigeria’s coach, Gernot Rohr, for coming out with tactics which neutralised his team’s offensive, especially in the second half.
He equally did not fail to commend his players for putting in their best in the face of the situation.
He added: “Even though we lost to Nigeria, all the same the players tried their best.”
Hallgrimsson promised that his team would come all out against Croatia on June 26 in spite of Friday’s defeat, hopeful they would win to be in line for qualification.
He said: “We know the Croatians. We have played against them four times and we know how to handle them.”