As Mainz central defender Leon Balogun put it, the Super Eagles had to upset the form guide in their quest to qualify for the World Cup.
When the draw was made on June 24, 2016, Nigeria were paired with Cameroon, Zambia and Algeria in the qualifying race for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, and it was clear that was the Group of Death.
Balogun has been in imperious form for the Super Eagles since the third round of the qualifiers started, so much so that even Confederation of African Football acknowledged the defender after naming him in the ceremonial Teams of Round three and four.
”Not many people gave both Nigeria and Zambia a chance when the draw was made but look at football, they are the only teams left in the race in the group,” Leon Balogun told the Nigeria Football Federation.
”This is not time to talk too much.”
A hamstring injury meant Balogun missed Nigeria’s 2-1 win against Zambia in Ndola, but he has gone the distance in the last three Group B fixtures against Algeria and Cameroon.