Croatia beat Nigeria 2-0 to take control of Group D. An own goal from midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo, and a Luka Modric penelty settled a tight clash in  Kaliningrad.

Midfielder Etebo, who joined Stoke City for €7.2million on Monday, turned a Modric corner into his own net after Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic both flicked the delivery on.

Nigeria’s previous goal conceded at the World Cup in 2014 was also an own goal, defender Joseph Yobo the unfortunate player to put through his own net in a last-16 defeat to France.

In 71st minute William Troost-Ekong needlessly dragged Mandzukic down in the box, and captain converted coolly converted.

2018 FIFA World Cup, FIFA World Cup 2018, Nigeria Football Team, Croatia National Team, Luka Modric
Luka Modric celebrates after scoring the penalty and putting Croatia 2-0 ahead in the Group D encounter (Photo: AFP)

 

Croatia had the better of a close contest light on chances in Kaliningrad, with Mandzukic’s aerial power causing plenty of problems for Nigeria, who have the youngest squad at the World Cup.

The win takes Croatia top of group D, after Argentina drew their game against impressive Iceland.