Super Eagles brought to earth by Argentina

Argentina arrived in Russia a couple of weeks ago: but they only really pitched up tonight.

However, it took a very late goal for them to ensure their progress in the competition after a 2-1 triumph over Nigeria.

They played with no resemblance to the pathetic performances of their first two Group D encounters.

That includes Lionel Messi, who showed just why he is a super star.

Both teams came out of the blocks with attack in mind, with Argentina looking the sharper but giving the ball away too often.

It took just 14 minutes for the little maestro to reveal his pedigree.

Fed the ball, his superb two-touch control and his splendid technique ensured he never looked like missing as he steered it past teenage keeper Francis Uzoho’s right hand (1-0).

It was a rare right-footed goal for the genius and Argentina should have been a further goal and a man in front when Leon Balogun pulled down goal-bound Angel di Maria and was lucky the ref showed yellow rather than red.

Messi took the responsibility from the edge of box and his special strike needed a fingertip save from Uzoho in the Nigerian goals.

Only 1-0 down at the break, Nigeria were thrown a lifeline in the 48th minute when Javier Mascherano pulled down Balogun to earn a yellow card.

Victor Moses sent the spot kick in one direction and Franco Armani dived in the other as the scoreline now read 1-1.

Nigeria saw Wilfred Ndidi try his luck from range in the 70th minute but the Leicester City man sent the ball into the stratosphere.

Soon after, Nigeria were denied a penalty claim that was not referred to VAR and then hit the side netting from yet another free kick.

The Last Chance Saloon closed its doors on Nigeria in the 85th minute when, after sustained pressure, Man United’s Marcos Rojo’s decent strike put Argentina through and Nigeria out at 2-1.

No shame for the men in green, who made all Africa proud.

The Super Eagles will fly back home, but they will be back!

Have a story? contact a reporter on 076-235-1764 or call into the Rising Sun offices on 011-852-0842. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for more news.

  AUTHOR
Staff Reporter

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