Nigeria’s sensational victory against Iceland, thanks to Ahmed Musa who nailed the Iceland with brace has blown Group D wide open, and keeps the World Cup dreams alive for Nigeria, Lionel Messi’s Argentina and Iceland.
Croatia now top the Group with 6 points, while Nigeria is second with 3 points, Iceland is third with 1 point but with two goals deficit and Argentina is fourth with a point and three goals deficit.
Goal difference is the primary decider of group ranking at the World Cup, after points, unlike in the Champions League where head-to-head takes precedence.
With the final games in the group kick-off at 7 pm on Tuesday, Nigeria going in tussle with Argentina in St Petersburg, while Iceland will face Croatia in Rostov.
Like the habit of many Nigerian football fans, they have resorted to arithmetical calculations.
Here are all the pamutations that will determine Super Eagles’ fate in Russia 2018
A win against Argentina
This is clearly the best bet for Nigeria. The Super Eagles will progress to the round 16 if they beat Argentina, with six points in the bag.
A draw against Argentina
If Super Eagles finishes the match with a draw, they will have to depend on Croatia to defeat Iceland to give a clear difference.
Meanwhile, if Iceland wins, they will qualify only if they win by more than two clear goals that: that means the team has to win by, at least, 3 goals against Croatia.
Nigeria will progress with a high scoring draw – more than 1 goal, regardless of the Iceland result, as number of goals in all group matches follows goal difference in deciding the rankings.
For example, if Nigeria draw 2-2 and Iceland win 2-0, Nigeria would have the same number of points and goal differences of zero – but Nigeria would have scored four goals to Iceland’s three, and will progress.
A defeat against Argentina
If Nigeria lose against Argentina, end of discussion! Defeat against Argentina totally rules the Super Eagles out of the tournament.
Meanwhile, a 1-0 in favour of Argentina, still sees Argentina knocked out of the tournament by Iceland, as their goal difference would be minus one to Argentina’s minus two.