Argentina played Nigeria in a Group D decisive game where any team could still qualify.

The last time they met on a competitive level was in 2014 when Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2 under no pressure, but this game was different because if they lose, they will be knockout.

After being fairly quiet in the last game in the loss to Croatia and missing a penalty in the first game, Lionel Messi scored in the 14th minute.

A long ball by Ever Banega was controlled by Messi and pulled the ball away from the defender to shoot past the goalkeeper.

Messi came close again with a freekick in the 34th minute which was slightly pushed by the Nigerian goalkeeper Uzoho onto the post.

The first half ended with Argentina dominating the game with Banega providing the necessary passes to initiate the attack while Nigeria sat deep.

The second half began with a debacle by the Argentine defence when three Argentinean defenders went for the same ball which was headed out for a Nigerian corner.

Nigeria won a penalty when the referee spotted Javier Mascherano’s foul on Leon Balogun.

After a short delay with players, Victor Moses calmly scored the penalty in the 51st minute.

Odion Ighalo could have won the game in the 75th minute but missed the golden opportunity.

Nigeria was punished for failing to convert their chances when Marcos Rojo scored from a cross by Gabriel Mercado in the 86th minute, the same player to score the winner in 2014.

The game ended Nigeria 1-2 Argentina which means Argentina qualified into the last 16 who they face France while the young Nigerian squad go home with their heads held up after an empathetic performance.

Source of Image: BBC

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