In our previous ‘Did You Know’ article, we looked at the few times Nigeria crashed out of the FIFA World Cup during the group stage fixtures.
This time, let’s take a look at the times the Super Eagles successfully broke through the group stages of the global showcase.
1994 FIFA World Cup (United States of America)
The 1994 FIFA World Cup was Nigeria’s debut to the global championship and arguably the nation’s best outing to the global event.
Nigeria was grouped alongside Bulgaria, Argentina and Greece in Group D.
The odds were not exactly in Nigeria’s favor, but the team had a plan to prove themselves to the world.
In Nigeria’s debut game at the games, the then Super Eagles squad pummeled Bulgaria 3-0, before suffering a 2-1 defeat to their Argentine rivals.
The Eagles defeated Greece 2-0 in the country’s final game, making the required 6 points to advance to the knockout rounds.
Bulgaria and Argentina also had 6 points apiece, so both teams moved into the next stage of the World Cup.
Team Nigeria failed to advance to the quarterfinals after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Italy in the Round of 16.
1998 FIFA World Cup (France)
Nigeria was grouped alongside Paraguay, Spain and Bulgaria in Group D of the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
The Super Eagles defeated Spain 3-2 in their first game of the tournament. The team also edged Bulgaria 1-0 in their second game.
In their final group game, Bulgaria utterly defeated Nigeria 3-1, however, having already won both previous games, the Super Eagles were in the clear.
Nigeria qualified as the leader of the group alongside Paraguay into the Round of 16.
The Eagles were knocked out of the championships by Denmark, who defeated Nigeria 4-1 in the knockout round.
2014 FIFA World Cup (Brazil)
The last time Nigeria made it into the group stage of the FIFA World Cup was at Brazil 2014.
Nigeria, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran made up Group F of the World Cup.
Iran held Nigeria to a goalless draw in their first game of the global championship.
The Super Eagles, however, got back into the game with a 1-0 win over World Cup debutantes at the time, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In Nigeria’s final group game, Argentina defeated the Eagles 3-2. However, since Bosnia and Iran had only 3 points and 1 point respectively, Nigeria qualified into the knockout round.
France ended Nigeria’s run at the World Cup with a 2-0 defeat.
Feature image source: Brila