FIFA World Cup 2018: Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1, qualify for round of 16

Argentina looked composed and organised in the middle but things could change if Nigeria, who would be happy with a draw, equalise. Expect a cracker of a match in the second-half. 

FIFA World Cup 2018: Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1, qualify for round of 16
Pic Courtesy:Twitter/@Argentina

Argentina have qualified for the knockout stages after beating Nigeria 2-1. Marcos Rojo scored a late goal to seal the match for Argentina. The South Americans move to the second spot in Group D table and face France in the round of 16. It is the end of the road for Nigeria who went down fighting. Argentina have a long road ahead and need to work harder as the tournament progresses. In the other Group D clash, Croatia beat Iceland 2-1 to take the top spot in Group D. They now face Denmark in the pre-quarters on Sunday. 

Follow the  match updates:

Argentina 2-1 Nigeria!

FULL-TIME!

90+4 minute: Yellow card! Argentina's Messi gets booked. 

90+2 minute: Substitution for Nigeria. Musa is replaced by Nwankwo.

4 minutes of Stoppage time!

90+1 minute: Yellow card! Nigeria's Mikel gets booked for a challenge. 

Argentina 2-1 Nigeria!

86 minute: GOAL!!! Marcos Alberto Rojo waits for the ball to drop and fires the ball into the goal. 

6 minutes to go!

84 minute:  Free-kick to Nigeria. 

81 minute: MISS! Argentina's Higuain wastes a golden opportunity as he clouds the ball away from the target. 

80 minute: Substitution for Argentina. S. Aguero is in for N. Tagliafico. 

79 minute: Desperation by Argentina in the final-third but the scoreline remains intact. 

76 minute: The Referee checks for a potential handball by an Argentina player. He disregards it. 

72 minute: MISS! Nigeria's Ndidi fires a powerful shot but it misses the target by whisker. That was close. 

 

 

67 minute: Nigerian defenders have cramped Messi for room. It is not going to be easy for Argentina, who are desperate for a win here. 

65 minute: Yellow card! Argentina's Banega gets booked for a challenge on Ndidi. Free-kick to Nigeria. 

Possession

Argentina- 62 percent

Nigeria- 38 percent

62 minute: Argentina's Pavon sprints down the right flank and fires a cross into the box from distance but the defence clear the ball away. Corner for Argentina. 

61 minute: GOAL!! Argentina's Pavon replaces Perez. 

59 minute: That was close! Nigeria's Musa threatened from the left after an error by Perez. His cross is cleared by the Defence. 

57 minute: Free-kick to Argentina. The Nigerian defence clears the ball to safety. 

In the other Group D clash, Croatia have taken a lead after a goal from Milan Badelj. Croatia 1-0 Iceland

53 minute: Corner for Nigeria. 

Nigeria 1-1 Argentina!

51 minute: GOAL!! Moses taps an easy goal. Nigeria equalise. 

49 minute: Corner for Nigeria. Etebo fires the ball in. Mascherano gets a Yellow card. Penalty!!

Second-half is underway!

Argentina would be happy with the first half lead of 1-0 after Messi scored a brilliant goal into the far corner. Nigeria, on the other hand, did not create many chances to trouble the debutant goalkeeper Armani. Argentina looked composed and organised in the middle but things could change if Nigeria, who would be happy with a draw, equalise. Expect a cracker of a match in the second-half. In the other Group D clash between Croatia and Iceland, both teams went goalless at half-time. 

 

 

Argentina 1-0 Nigeria!

Half-time!

2 minutes of Stoppage time! 

39 minute: That was close! Nigerian defence continue to look fragile. Messi finds Di Maria in the box but he was cramped for space and opts for a back-pass.   

 

 

34 minute: MISS! Messi curls the ball but the ball hits the right post after a slight touch by the goalkeeper. That was close. 

32 minute: Yellow card! Nigeria's Balogun gets booked for a challenge on Di Maria. Free-kick to Argentina right outside the box. 

27 minute: Brilliant through-ball by Messi to find Higuain in the box but the goalkeeper plunges on to the ball. Great save!

23 minute: Argentina certainly look lifted but Nigeria will not go down without a fight. What a match this is turning out to be. Nigeria have had two shots so far. 

 

 

 

20 minute: Free-kick to Argentina. Etebo does not look convinced with the Referee's decision. The Referee asks him to remain calm. Everything seems to be falling in place for Argentina and Messi, so far. 

19 minute: Corner for Nigeria.  Iheanacho whips the ball directly to Di Maria, who clears it to safety. 

Argentina 1-0 Nigeria!

14 minute: GOAL!! Banega makes a beautiful pass to Lionel Messi in the box, and Messi collects the ball with a lovely first-touch and shoots the ball into the goal. 

13 minute: That was close! Mascherano gives away possession with a poor back pass but makes up for it with a sliding tackle near the box. 

12 minute: Free-kick to Nigeria after Etebo goes down. 

8 minute: Argentina's Banega makes a brilliant pass to Tagliafico in the box but Tagliafico clouds the ball wide. That was close. 

5 minute: Argentina's Di Maria sprints to keep the ball in play but the flags go up. Off-side. 

Nigeria's 19-year-old goalkeeper Uzoho is the second youngest goalkeeper in the World Cup history. 

Kick-off!

Iceland will make the last 16 if they beat Croatia by a margin of two goals and score at least one more than Nigeria. If Iceland beat Croatia, Argentina can still qualify if they win against Nigeria with two goals more than Iceland score against Croatia. If both Argentina and Iceland finish with identical goal difference, the number of yellow cards and red cards received will come into play.  

Argentina goalkeeper Willy Caballero is dropped after an error against Croatia led to a 3-0 defeat. He is replaced by the uncapped Franco Armani. 

Lineups 

Nigeria XI: Uzoho (GK); Idowu, Ekong, Balogun, Omeruo; Ndidi, Etebo, Mikel (C); Musa, Iheanacho, Moses.

Argentina XI: Armani (GK); Mercado, Tagliafico, Rojo, Otamendi; Mascherano, Banega, Perez; Di Maria, Higuain, Messi (C).

The 2014 runners-up rely heavily on their star player Lionel Messi, who has not looked at his best. Messi missed a penalty against Iceland and failed to find the net in the Croatia match.

Squads:

Argentina:

Goalkeepers - Nahuel Guzman, Franco Armani, Wilfredo Caballero.

Defenders - Marco Acuna, Cristian Ansaldi, Federico Fazio, Javier Mascherano, Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Eduardo Salvio, Nicolas Tagliafico.

Midfielders - Ever Banega, Lucas Biglia, Angel Di Maria, Giovani Lo Celso, Maxi Meza, Enzo Perez, Cristian Pavon. 

Forwards - Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala

Nigeria:

Goalkeepers - Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Francis Uzoho

Defenders - Chidozie Awaziem, Leon Balogun, Tyronne Ebuehi, Elderson Echiejile, Bryan Idowu, Kenneth Omeruo, Abdullahi Shehu, William Troost-Ekong. 

Midfielders - Oghenekaro Etebo, Victor Moses, Wilfred Ndidi, Joel Obi , Mikel John Obi, John Ogu, Ogenyi Onazi. 

Forwards - Odion Ighalo, Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Ahmed Musa, Simeon Nwankwo.

 

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