Argentina have edged past Nigeria in the last group stage match of the World Cup in Russia. Argentina have beaten Nigeria in this match with a margin of 2-0 and qualified in the knockout stage of the tournament. They will face France in the round of 16 of the tournament. It will be a clash to watch out for all the football fans out here.
The match was not easy for the Argentines, the equation was also not in the favour of them before the beginning of the match. They somehow needed a win to qualify for the knockout stage of the tournament and the win could not even save Argentina if Iceland would beat Croatia at the same time. So, it against all the odds for Lionel Messi and Co. Lionel Messi has started to make things going in their favour from the first half of the match. At the 14th minute of the match, it was a brilliant long ball provided by Ever Banega. Lionel Messi received the ball with ease; after that the football World again witnessed the greatness of Lionel Messi once again. The second touch of Lionel Messi was awesome and after that he has taken the shot with his weaker right foot. But, young Nigerian Goalkeeper Francis Uzoho has no clue to the shot. Argentina have taken the most important lead in the match with this brilliant goal from Lionel Messi. The first half has ended with a scoreline of 1-0 with Argentina leading by 1 goal against Nigeria.
The second half has not started in the way for Lionel Messi and Co. Odion Ighalo was brought in place of Kelechi Iheanacho. The change has worked well for Nigeria. They have put some pressure in the Argentine defense. Javier Mascherano committed a foul in the penalty box and the penalty was rightly given to Nigeria. Chelsea wingback Victor Moses did not commit any mistake to level the scoreline at 51st minute of the match. After conceding the goal, the Argentines were in real pressure situation. Maximiliano Meza and Cristian Pavon were brought in place of Angel Di Maria and Enzo Perez. Nigeria players again demanded for a penalty which was arguable as the ball first struck the hand of Marcos Rojo and after that it has hit his hand. So, the referee might have taken the right decision of not awarding the penalty to Nigeria. The pressure was clearly on Argentina as they must have to score to qualify from this situation. Sergio Aguero was also brought in to put some more pressure.
But somehow at the 86th minute of the match, a brilliant cross was provided by Gabriel Mercado and it was a brilliant finish from Marcos Rojo with his weaker right foot to help Argentina to qualify in the next round. It is going to be the last World Cup for Lionel Messi and all the football fans should be happy that the journey is not over yet and it might well be beginning of a new hope for Lionel Messi and Co.