Register Login Scores

African Watch

Messi Leads Argentina Into Last 16, Nigeria Crash Out

Argentina secured their spot in knockout stages at the 2018 World Cup after defeating Nigeria 2-1 thanks to a late winner from an unlikely source.

2018 World Cup

Result: Nigeria 1-2 Argentina

Date: 26 June 2018

Venue: Saint Petersburg Stadium

Click through the gallery to see the best images of the game!

Angel Di Maria and Marcos Rojo returned to the Argentina line-up while Gonzalo Higuain replaced Sergio Aguero in the attack.

There was a good tempo to the first half as both nations registered efforts at goal in the opening 10 minutes, although Nigeria's Ahmed Musa went the closest.

It was the South Americans, though, who broke the deadlock on 14 minutes as a superb long ball from Ever Banega found Messi, who controlled well before firing a right-footed strike into the far corner.

Argentina nearly found a second goal after 28 minutes when Messi turned provider to slip in Higuain, who was eventually thwarted by Francis Uzoho.

Five minutes later, Messi was denied by the woodwork as the Argentine's free-kick from 20-yards out crashed against the upright after a fingertip save from Uzoho.

The Super Eagles, meanwhile, did pose a threat with Victor Moses and Musa on the flanks, however, the attacking duo did not have any joy as the African nation went into the break trailing.

Five minutes into the second half, the Super Eagles were awarded a penalty when Javier Mascherano committed a foul on Balogun, and Moses stepped up and calmly rolled the ball into the back of the net to level matters for the Nigerians.

Jorge Sampaoli responded by introducing Cristian Pavón for Enzo Perez after the hour mark as they went in search of a second goal.

The Super Eagles looked confident on the ball going forward and they went close to taking the lead when Wilfried Ndidi's long-range effort sailed inches over the crossbar.

Higuain squandered a golden chance to put Argentina ahead with nine minutes remaining as he blazed over the crossbar from close range.

Argentina were not to be denied in the 86th minute as defender Marcos Rojo found the back of the net with a superb finish from 12-yards out.

Argentina managed to see off any late surge from the Super Eagles to secure three points and a spot in the round of 16.

Nigeria XI: Uzoho, Idowu, Ndidi, Ekong, Balogun, Musa, Etebo, Mikel, Moses, Iheanacho, Omeruo
Argentina XI: Armani, Mercado, Tagliafico, Banega, Higuaín, Messi, Di María, Mascherano, Pérez, Marcos Rojo, Otamendi

Reports: Chelsea Close To Confirming New Manager

Ronaldo Sets Unwanted Record

Foreign Situation Explained For New Amakhosi Signing


Top 5

Agent Confirms Mokoena Deal!

203 Jan 25, 2022 02:49 PM in Mamelodi Sundowns

Managers Who’ve Already Been Sacked This Season

1 Nov 08, 2021 12:26 PM in English Premier League

Pitso’s Al Ahly Future Uncertain As Club Breaks Silence

12 Jan 25, 2022 10:55 AM in Players Abroad

7 Players Xavi Could Get Rid Of At Barca

5 Nov 09, 2021 01:26 PM in LaLiga

SSU & Mbule Set For Crucial Talks? Downs, Chiefs Watch...

21 Jan 25, 2022 10:00 AM in Mamelodi Sundowns

Agent Confirms Mokoena Deal!

203 Jan 25, 2022 02:49 PM in Mamelodi Sundowns

Gallery: Chiefs Get Busy With Camp In Cape Town

22 Jan 24, 2022 11:03 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

Bafana Ba Style – 5 Of Motsepe’s Most Stylish Moments

1 Jan 21, 2022 04:10 PM in Drip, Style & Swag

Khanye On Sithebe To Chiefs: I’m Not Going To Be Excited

33 Jan 25, 2022 09:04 AM in Kaizer Chiefs

'World Richest Footballer' Finds New Club

9 Dec 27, 2021 02:35 PM in World News

Saavedra Speaks Ahead Of Sensational Sundowns Move

19 Jan 25, 2022 01:00 PM in Mamelodi Sundowns

All The Stadiums That Will Host Afcon Matches

2 Dec 10, 2021 07:29 PM in African Football

Confirmed: Nedbank Cup Dates, Times & Venues

9 Jan 25, 2022 03:12 PM in Nedbank Cup