FIFA World Cup 2014: Argentina top Group F after Messi`s brilliance
Zee Media Bureau/ Suyash Srivastava
New Delhi: Lionel Messi weaved his magic yet again for Argentina, as his double-strike helped his team register a 3-2 win over Nigeria.
While Argentina topped Group F, the African champions also made it to the last 16, courtesy Bosnia-Herzegovina`s 3-1 triumph over Iran.
Messi gave the crowd entertainment worth their money as he scored in the third and stoppage time of the first half. For Nigeria, Musa was up for the challenge as he scored in the fourth and the 47th minute. But eventually, Marcos Rojo gave Argentina the winning goal in the 50th minute.
Messi has now taken his goal count to four from three World Cup games.
In another match, as a result of Xherdan Shaqiri`s triple strike, Switzerland pummelled Honduras 3-0 to book their last 16 berth while Ecuador became the first Latin American side to bow out of this World Cup after playing a 0-0 draw with Group E toppers France yesterday.
Shaqiri completed his hat-trick in the 71st minute when he netted an assist from Drmic to seal his team`s pre-quarterfinal entry.
France, who had been brilliant in their first two games, couldn`t capitalise on the chances which came their way and could manage just a draw.
To add to Ecuador`s woes, they were left with 10 men after skipper Antonio Valencia was shown a red card in the 50th minute, when he lost a challenge against Lucas Digne and the Manchester United player was dismissed by the referee.
In the last 16, Switzerland will now have a tough match against tournament favourites Argentina in the pre-quarterfinals, while France will take on Nigeria.