The Super Eagles flew into the Kaliningrad Khrabrovo Airport on Thursday evening from Essentuki, about 48 hours to their opening World Cup clash against Croatia at the 35,000 –capacity Kaliningrad Stadium on Saturday.

Saturday will mark Nigeria’s sixth appearance at the FIFA World Cup finals, in seven tournaments since making her debut at the 1994 finals in the USA.

In previous outings, the Eagles had made it to the Round of 16 on three occasions – the only African team to have gone that far that many times. This was in 1994, 1998 and 2014. The team failed to emerge from the group stage in 2002 and 2010.

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The only time Nigeria has missed football’s biggest showpiece in the last quarter –century was in 2006, when a head-to-head rule knocked out the Eagles despite finishing on equal points and superior goals to Angola – which was enough to guarantee qualification in normal situations.