Argentina defeats Nigeria 3 -2 Wednesday at Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, with two of the team’s goals once again secured by star player Lionel Messi.
Both Nigeria and Argentina advances to the round of 16, with Argentina sitting on the top of Group F with 9 points followed by Nigeria with 4 points. Bosnia and Herzegovina follows with 3 points while Iran gains one point.
Argentina and Nigeria aggressively played all throughout the match, with each team scoring and responding immediately towards each other.
Argentina takes the lead early in the game, with Lionel Messi striking with a left-footed shot on the 3 – minute mark. However, Nigeria immediately answers as Ahmed Musa attacks with a right-footed shot through an assist by Michel Babatunde barely a minute after Argentina took the lead.
Messi gains the lead for Argentina once more just before the end of the first half, netting a left-footed free kick on the 45 – minute mark of the match.
Nigeria responds to Argentina and manages to equalize the game once more as Musa scores another point for the team with a right-footed attack with the help of Emmanuel Emenike on the 47 – minute mark of the second half of the match.
Nevertheless, Argentina takes the lead again as Marcos Rojo strikes with a close-range right-footed shot on the 50 – minute mark of the match.
The game was concluded 3 – 2, with Argentina securing victory at the end of the match. Despite the loss of Nigeria, they manage to advance to the next round of the tournament along with Argentina.
We were better in this game, regardless of the goals we conceded. We were more threatening today, found the spaces to exploit and had more chances to score. But we still want more,” said Lionel Messi in an interview in CBC Sports.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s manager Stephen Keshi also comments about the result of the match in CBC Sports: “It’s an honour and we’re very happy to reach the next round. I think we lost the game because we showed them too much respect in the first half. After the break we managed to play our game, attacked more, had more possession and were better overall,” he says.
Nigeria will face France at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia on June 30, Monday while Argentina matches up against Switzerland at Arena de Sao Paulo on July 1, Monday.