A late Marcos Rojo goal sent Argentina into the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ knockout stages in dramatic style. Needing a win to have any chance of progression, the defender volleyed La Albiceleste 2-1 in front in the 86th minute to break Nigerian hearts.
Victor Moses’s second-half penalty looked to be enough to earn Nigeria a crucial point, cancelling out a stunning Lionel Messi opener. A raucous and partisan crowd roared on the South Americans, with Messi’s superb thigh control and finish providing a huge emotional release after a frustrating tournament.
Denied a second when Francis Uzoho tipped his free-kick onto the post, Argentina looked to be drifting out of the competition, only for Rojo to score the winner against the Super Eagles for the second finals running. In turn he inflicted Nigeria’s fifth World Cup defeat from five meetings with Argentina, all by a solitary goal.
Budweiser Man of the Match
When Argentina truly need him, Lionel Messi is there for them. His beautifully taken goal was something to behold.
100 – Messi’s strike brought up the century for goals at Russia 2018 – one day later than Brazil 2014 hit the milestone on the way to a record-equalling haul of 171. He also joined Diego Maradona and Gabriel Batistuta in becoming the third Albiceleste player to score in three World Cups.
France v Argentina – 30 June, Kazan
Croatia v Denmark – 1 July, Nizhny Novgorod