Soccer / argentina vs nigeria

Argentina survived the group stage
Its unbelievable the development that Argentina has had during the past matches, however miraculously, they have progressed to the last 16 of the World Cup by the skin of their teeth after an 86th-minute strike from defender Marcos Rojo gave them a 2-1 win over Nigeria, eliminating the African side. Croatia advance as winners of Group D with the maximum nine points after beating Iceland 2-1 and Nigeria were just minutes away from joining them before central defender Rojo superbly volleyed home a Gabriel Mercado cross from the right. Messi had put Argentina ahead in the 14th minute with a fabulously taken goal but the Africans equalised through a Victor Moses penalty in the 51st minute and the twice World Cup winners struggled to respond to that setback in a ragged second half display. In front of a massive following of passionate and loud Argentine fans, the game began in ideal fashion for Jorge Sampaoli's side, who had managed just a point from their opening two games. A perfectly weighted diagonal ball over the top by Ever Banega was sublimely brought down on the outside of the thigh by Messi who then drove past Nigeria's teenage keeper Francis Uzoho to open the scoring. Lionel Messi carries the hopes of a nation on his shoulders. Despite going scoreless through his first two matches at the World Cup, it takes only one brilliant performance and teamwork to change the bad development in the past stage.

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