(Source: Getty Images)
(Source: Getty Images)

Football News

WORLD CUP 2018: Nigeria Vs Argentina, LIVE

Written By Narayan R | Mumbai | Published:

FULL TIME: Nigeria 1-2 Argentina
 

90': Second change by Nigeria as they become desperate. Iwobi comes in. Four minutes added on!
 

86': GOAL! A brilliant volley from Rojo! A ball comes in from the right side, and Rojo is inside the box, and he scores a sumptuous volley from his right foot.
 

85': Now Argentina again ask for a penalty! A brilliant long ball finds Meza free on the left side inside the area. He, under pressure, goes down in hope for a spot-kick, but not given.
 

84': Free kick in a very dangerous place for Nigeria. Prior to this, Armani made a really good save of Ighalo to keep the score 1-1. Etoho is over it! Oh, it hits the side-netting.
 

82': Corner for Argentina with eight minutes to go. The resulting delivery is very poor.
 

80': Final change by Argentina. Aguero comes in for Tagliafico. Cross comes from the left by Rojo, but Higuain blazes it over.
 

77': After one look, the referee has made up his mind that it's not intentional, and not worthy of a penalty.
 

76': The referee is set to look at the handball, and uses the VAR for his support.
 

75': Another corner for Argentina! But it's a poor one, and Nigeria break. Musa plays a cross in the box, which hits the arm of Rojo from his own header and falls to Ighalo, but his effort is wide. 
 

72': Argentina make their second change. Di Maria makes way for Meza.
 

71': Just over the bar! Great play from Musa allows him space on the right. He squares the ball towards Ndidi, but his first time effort is just over.
 

69': Corner for Argentina! It's taken short and given to Messi, but he loses the ball to Musa.
 

62': Pavon gets in the action immediately, as his pace earns Argentina a corner. It's taken short, and ball goes to di Maria. But his pass is straight out for a goal kick.
 

60': The goal has knocked the stuffing out of the 2014 finalists, and they aren't playing at the same pace as they played in the first half. Meanwhile, they make a change. Pavon replaces Perez.
 

53': Corner for Nigeria now, after Banega makes a perfect challenge on Ighalo, who was on a good run.
 

In the other match, Croatia have taken the lead through Badelj. They lead Iceland 1-0. 
 

52': Now Argentina plead for a penalty! Di Maria goes down under a challenge by Moses, but referee is not interested.
 

51': GOAL! Moses calmly disposes the spot kick. They are back level, and Argentina are going out as things stand!
 

49': PENALTY! Mascherano is found to have pulled Balogun down. Moses is ready to take it.
 

48': Corner for Nigeria! Musa puts a long throw in the box, but the Argentine defenders come in each other's way, and give Nigeria a corner.
 

Nigeria have decided to make a change. Iheanacho, who was poor and selfish at times, is replaced by Ighalo.
 

HALF TIME: Nigeria 0-1 Argentina
 

45': Two minutes added on!
 

41': Nigeria get a throw in on the right side. Musa takes it, but the defense half clears, and the ball reaches Etoho on the edge of the box. The midfielder tries his luck, but his wayward effort goes out for a throw in.
 

34': Messi is over the ball, so is Banega. The angle suits the latter. Messi takes it, and it hits the post! Well, replays show it's an absolute stunning save by Uzoho, whose fingertips pushed the ball to the post.
 

32': Balogun is a lucky boy! Di Maria is away, through on goal. He is sure to be one on one with the keeper, but Balogun trips him from behind. A last man challenge, but still only yellow given.
 

30': Messi may have scored the goal, but it's Banega is running the show. He has been all around the park, and his passing has been spot on.
 

27': Good save by Uzoho! Lovely pass from Messi finds Higuain. The striker tries to chip the keeper, but he does brilliantly to save it. 
 

Well, he is some player, isn't he?
 


19': First corner of the match goes to Nigeria. Iheanacho is over it. The ball is headed out, and di Maria tries to counter, but is tackled illegally on the halfway line by Etebo.
 

18': Free kick on the left side for Argentina. Di Maria is over it. His delivery is too long. Though, the referee had already whistled for a foul.
 

15': GOAL! Messi is on the act finally. Banega plays a lovely ball over the defense for his skipper. And the No.10 makes no mistake, as he calmly slots the ball past the keeper.
 

13': Poor from Iheanacho! Mascherano poorly gives the ball away in his own box, and presents the striker a chance to run at the defense. But the former Manchester City striker can't get past the first defender.
 

8': Chance for Tagliafico! Banega plays a lovely ball on the path of the full back, but under pressure, he can only blaze his effort wide.
 

7': Messi is tackled! The Argentine skipper has his first chance to run at the defense, but before he could make inroads, he is forced to the ground by Mikel.
 

2': This seems like an young vs old match. Nigeria have a keeper, who is 19, and the youngest in the World Cup. On the other hand, Argentina have the oldest squad in this tournament.

KICK OFF!
 

Caballero is out, Di Maria, Higuain are in. Here are the starting XI of both the teams. Also, the starting XI of Iceland vs Croatia.
 


So, this is it. This is the last throw of the dice for Argentina, and if they fail, they'll return home with heads down. The 2014 finalists have been very ordinary in World Cup 2018. Even the talismanic skipper Lionel Messi has been a shadow of himself. They take on a spirited Nigeria side who are themselves aiming for next round. It's going to be interesting 


The second round of matches in the group stage have ended, and they have sprung quite a few surprises. Host nation Russia and Uruguay won their respective matches, and both the teams confirmed their place in the next round.

The Group B is very well balanced, with Portugal and Spain on four points, and Iran on three points. All the three teams stand a very good chance of qualifying for the round of 16.

In Group C, France have confirmed their qualification, having won both their matches. They look set to be joined by Denmark, who have four points. Though, Australia stand an outside chance to go through, if the results go their way.

2014 finalists Argentina were one of the favorites coming into the tournament. But they were dismantled in their second match by Croatia, who beat them 3-0. With that, Croatia confirmed a round of 16 berth for themselves. Who will join them? Well, it's advantage Nigeria, following their 2-0 win over Iceland. Yet, they can be usurped by both Argentina and Iceland.

Group E is very much similar to Group B, where two teams are on four points, and one team on three. Five-time champions Brazil haven't looked anywhere near their best, but sit atop ahead of Switzerland. Serbia are in third, and would need a positive result against Brazil to go through.

The sixth group is Group F, where Germany recovered from their shock defeat to Mexico in the first match by beating Sweden 2-1, thanks to a late goal by Toni Kroos. It means they along with Sweden have three points, and these two teams will compete to join Mexico, who are but certain to go through in the next group.

The next group is the tale of 'two strong vs two weak'. England and Belgium have won maximum points from their two matches against Tunisia and Panama, and will take on each other in the final game to decide who tops the group.

The final group, ie Group H, has provided plenty of excitement. Many expected Poland and Colombia to be the two teams to qualify. But Poland are already out, and Colombia need a positive result to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

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