Lionel Messi and Co. registered a commendable win over the Super Eagles in what turned out to be a stunning match inclusive of a last-minute finish. Lionel Messi began the Argentine fireworks soon enough after the match was kicked-off. However, Nigeria received a penalty off a foul by Javier Mascherano to turn the ball in for an equaliser. Marcos Rojo, Argentine centre-back, had different plans of his own and added fuel to Argentina’s and more importantly, Messi’s hopes of a third World Cup for his country.
The game took off to a flying start as the man himself, Lionel Messi, decided to take the matters into his own hands and score only in the 14th minute. Messi made sure that he was clear of all the defenders when Ever Banega spotted an unmarked Messi. He straightaway provided a through to the Argentine talisman who ran to the right side of the goal and dealt with the only defender chasing him as well as the goalkeeper to score off his weaker foot from a difficult angle, right into the left half of the goal that had no chance for Nigerian shot-stopper to save.
Nigeria received a corner in the 49th minute which turned into an ugly scenario soon enough as Javier Mascherano received a yellow card for a dangerous challenge and Nigeria got an opportunity from a spot kick. Victor Moses took the responsibility upon himself to try turning things for the African favourites and he duly delivered.
In the 86th minute, however, Gabriel Mercado of Argentina provided an accurate through to centre-back Marcos Rojo to net one in the last minute calmly for La Albiceleste to secure a last-minute win for captain and star player Lionel Messi to continue his final World Cup campaign.
South American giants Argentina lock horns with high-spirited France in the Round of 16 on June 30 that would eventually be followed by Cristiano Ronaldo-led European champions Portugal facing Uruguay, who have kept a clean sheet and are on a winning spree this World Cup.