Bryan Idowu Banks on ‘Home Advantage’ in St Petersburg

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Duro Ikhazuagbe in St Petersburg

Russia-born Bryan Idowu will be at home at St Petersburg this evening when Super Eagles take on Argentina. The 26-year old FC Amkar Perm defender was born here in St Petersburg and has a lot of followers amongst youths of the beautiful city.

“I feel great coming back here to play for Nigeria at the St Petersburg Stadium. This is my city, I was born here,” observed the hardworking defender who inexplicably missed playing for Russian top club Zenit St Petersburg after going through its academy.

“It was a special kind of feelings returning from our camp base in Essentuki to see my parents and friends here,” he noted with excitement.

Idowu who scored in his Nigeria debut against Argentina last November Krasnodar is praying things work out for Nigeria against Argentina today.

“ I just pray things work out for us tomorrow (Tuesday) against Argentina. I expect our team to have massive support here,”

He scored nine minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute against the Albiceleste and described the reaction that followed in Russia as overwhelmingly positive.

“ Of course the win over Argentina in that friendly in Krasnodar last November has helped to psyche us that we can do it at this World Cup. It doesn’t matter whether Messi was not in that team that we defeated. The stakes are higher now because it is a World Cup.”

BIG GAMES BETWEEN NIGERIA & ARGENTINA

25 June 1994: Nigeria 1 Argentina 2 – Boston, USA (FIFA World Cup)

10 Jan 1995: Argentina 0 Nigeria 0 – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (FIFA Confederations Cup)

3 Aug 1996: Nigeria 3 Argentina 2 – Georgia, USA (Olympics Final)

2 June 2002: Argentina 1 Nigeria 0 – Ibaraki, Japan (FIFA World Cup)

2 July 2005: Nigeria 1 Argentina 2 – Utrecht, Netherlands (FIFA U20 World Cup Final)

23 Aug 2008: Argentina 1 Nigeria 0 – Beijing, China (Olympics Final)

12 June 2010: Argentina 1 Nigeria 0 – Jo’burg, South Africa (FIFA World Cup)

1 June 2011: Nigeria 4 Argentina 1 – Abuja, Nigeria (Friendly)

6 Sept 2011: Argentina 3 Nigeria 1 – Dhaka, Bangladesh (Friendly)

25 June 2014: Nigeria 2 Argentina 3 – Porto Alegre, Brazil (FIFA World Cup)

14 Nov 2017: Argentina 2 Nigeria 4 – Krasnodar, Russia (Friendly)