Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr had hoped to start the 2018 World Cup tourney on a sound footing in a Group D fixture at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Saturday night.
But it would all end in disappointment for the German tactician as his wards lost 2-0 to Croatia.
An own goal from Super Eagles midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo gave Croatia a half-time lead in Russia, before Luka Modric secured all three points with a second-half penalty to cap off an efficient performance against a lacklustre Super Eagles.
“We’re really disappointed we lost this game,” Rohr said.
“Croatia were the better team.”
“We could have come back into it in the second half after we started very well before the penalty against us.”
“We’re a young team, we’re learning.
“I hope in the next game against Iceland we will do much better.”