World Cup - Group F
Nigeria2Argentina3

Nigeria 2-3 Argentina

Argentina goalscorers Lionel Messi (left) and Marcos Rojo (right) celebrate with Angel Di Maria

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World Cup 2014: Nigeria 2-3 Argentina highlights

Argentina and Nigeria both qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup despite two Lionel Messi goals condemning the African side to a 3-2 defeat in their final group game.

The Barcelona forward netted a fierce opener, but Ahmed Musa equalised within 80 seconds with a curling finish.

Lionel Messi stats graphic

Messi made it 2-1 before the break with a 25-yard free-kick, but Musa grabbed his second after bursting through.

Marcos Rojo scored Argentina's winner, knocking in a corner with a knee.

The result means Argentina finish top of Group F with three wins from three games, while Nigeria qualify in second with four points after Iran failed to defeat Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Nigeria will face France in the last 16 in Brasilia next Monday, while Argentina take on Switzerland a day later in Sao Paulo.

They progressed after another goal-laden World Cup match.

It only took three minutes for the deadlock to be broken as Messi smashed home after Angel Di Maria's effort came off a post.

The celebrations had barely died down when Nigeria levelled. Midfielder Michel Babatunde - who was later stretchered off with a wrist injury - fed the ball into the left side of the area for Musa, who shifted to his right before curling in.

Lionel Messi puts Argentina back into the lead from a set piece

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Messi curls free-kick past Nigeria

It was the first time in World Cup history that two opposing teams had both scored inside the first five minutes.

The forwards on show continued to expose the fragility of both defences, but it was not until stoppage time in the first half that the next goal arrived.

Messi, who moments earlier drew an exceptional save from Vincent Enyeama with a free-kick, struck a set-piece over the wall and beyond the reach of the Lille goalkeeper.

It was the 27-year-old's fourth goal in three matches at Brazil 2014, having scored just once in his first eight World Cup appearances.

Nigeria knew Bosnia-Hercegovina had taken an early lead against Iran, the African team's rivals for qualification, but they did not sit back and were level again within two minutes of the restart.

Musa was the goalscorer again, the CSKA Moscow forward playing a one-two Emmanuel Emenike before slotting the ball past Sergio Romero.

Argentina pressed once more, with Di Maria twice forcing Enyeama to make good stops. But the Nigeria goalkeeper was beaten when defender Rojo used his knee to convert a corner from the left.

A desperate Di Maria was thwarted again by Enyeama in the closing moments, as the match ended in the same thrilling manner in which it began.

Argentina's Lionel Messi scores the first goal against Nigeria
Messi (second from right) scored his third goal in three World Cup games
Ahmed Musa equalises
Musa, out of shot, equalised for Nigeria only 80 seconds after Argentina's opener
Argentina's Lionel Messi scores from a free-kick
Messi gave Enyeama little chance with his free-kick
Ahmed Musa (centre) celebrates his second goal
Musa (centre) scored two goals from only two shots
Rojo scored his first goal for Argentina in the second half

Line-ups

Nigeria

  • 1Enyeama
  • 13OshaniwaBooked at 51mins
  • 22OmeruoBooked at 48mins
  • 2Yobo
  • 5Ambrose
  • 10Mikel
  • 18BabatundeSubstituted forUcheboat 66'minutes
  • 17Onazi
  • 7Musa
  • 8OdemwingieSubstituted forNwoforat 80'minutes
  • 9Emenike

Substitutes

  • 3Uzoenyi
  • 4Gabriel
  • 6Egwuekwe
  • 12Odunlami
  • 14Oboabona
  • 15Azeez
  • 16Ejide
  • 19Nwofor
  • 20Uchebo
  • 21Agbim
  • 23Ameobi

Argentina

  • 1Romero
  • 16Rojo
  • 2Garay
  • 17Fernández
  • 4Zabaleta
  • 14Mascherano
  • 5Gago
  • 10MessiSubstituted forÁlvarezat 63'minutes
  • 7Di María
  • 9HiguaínSubstituted forBigliaat 90+1'minutes
  • 20AgüeroSubstituted forLavezziat 38'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Campagnaro
  • 6Biglia
  • 8Pérez
  • 11Rodríguez
  • 12Orión
  • 13Fernández
  • 15Demichelis
  • 18Palacio
  • 19Álvarez
  • 21Andujar
  • 22Lavezzi
  • 23Basanta
Referee:
Nicola Rizzoli
Attendance:
43,285

Match Stats

Home TeamNigeriaAway TeamArgentina
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home12
Away18
Shots on Target
Home3
Away13
Corners
Home4
Away12
Fouls
Home16
Away5

Live Text

Match ends, Nigeria 2, Argentina 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Nigeria 2, Argentina 3.

Ricardo Álvarez (Argentina) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ogenyi Onazi (Nigeria).

Foul by Ezequiel Lavezzi (Argentina).

Kenneth Omeruo (Nigeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Argentina. Lucas Biglia replaces Gonzalo Higuaín.

Delay in match Juwon Oshaniwa (Nigeria) because of an injury.

Attempt saved. Javier Mascherano (Argentina) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Fernando Gago.

Corner, Nigeria. Conceded by Ezequiel Garay.

Attempt blocked. Efe Ambrose (Nigeria) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ogenyi Onazi.

Attempt saved. Ángel Di María (Argentina) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Gonzalo Higuaín with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Emmanuel Emenike (Nigeria) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by John Obi Mikel.

Attempt blocked. Ogenyi Onazi (Nigeria) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Michael Uchebo (Nigeria) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Uche Nwofor.

Corner, Nigeria. Conceded by Federico Fernández.

Foul by Gonzalo Higuaín (Argentina).

Efe Ambrose (Nigeria) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Nigeria. Uche Nwofor replaces Peter Odemwingie.

Attempt missed. Ezequiel Garay (Argentina) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ángel Di María with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Argentina. Conceded by Efe Ambrose.

Attempt blocked. Ahmed Musa (Nigeria) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Emmanuel Emenike with a through ball.

Corner, Argentina. Conceded by Vincent Enyeama.

Attempt saved. Ezequiel Lavezzi (Argentina) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ángel Di María.

Ricardo Álvarez (Argentina) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Ogenyi Onazi (Nigeria).

Offside, Nigeria. Michael Uchebo tries a through ball, but Emmanuel Emenike is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Ahmed Musa (Nigeria) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Peter Odemwingie with a cross.

Corner, Nigeria. Conceded by Marcos Rojo.

Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Argentina).

Ahmed Musa (Nigeria) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Argentina. Conceded by Juwon Oshaniwa.

Javier Mascherano (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Peter Odemwingie (Nigeria).

Substitution

Substitution, Nigeria. Michael Uchebo replaces Michel Babatunde because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Michel Babatunde (Nigeria) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Argentina. Ricardo Álvarez replaces Lionel Messi.

Corner, Argentina. Conceded by Kenneth Omeruo.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Brazil321057
2Mexico321037
3Croatia310203
4Cameroon3003-80

B

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Netherlands330079
2Chile320126
3Spain3102-33
4Australia3003-60

C

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Colombia330079
2Greece3111-24
3Ivory Coast3102-13
4Japan3012-41

D

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Costa Rica321037
2Uruguay320106
3Italy3102-13
4England3012-21

E

TeamPWDLGDPts
1France321067
2Switzerland320116
3Ecuador311104
4Honduras3003-70

F

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Argentina330039
2Nigeria311104
3Bos-Herze310203
4Iran3012-31

G

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Germany211044
2USA211014
3Ghana2011-11
4Portugal2011-41

H

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Belgium220026
2Algeria210113
3Russia2011-11
4South Korea2011-21
View full World Cup tables

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