It is Argentina versus Nigeria for the third consecutive FIFA World Cup and the match has great consequences. Will Argentina confirm her superiority over Nigeria or will the Eagles write a new chapter of their World Cup history?
A win for the Super Eagles guarantees a round of 16 spot while a win for La Albiceleste would only take them through if the result in the game between Croatia and Iceland ends in a victory or a draw for Croatia.
Nigeria, the youngest squad at Russia 2018 is up against an ageing Argentina squad led by arguably the best player in the world in Lionel Messi. When they met in 1994, it was the cunning Claudio Cannigia that made the difference though the 2-1 result did not deter the Eagles from qualifying from their group.
Last time out, Messi scored two goals in the 3-2 win, in which Ahmed Musa also scored a brace. The Eagles are looking to get one over Argentina for the very first time in a World Cup and a victory in a side in which Messi plays.
Gernot Rohr is expected to stay with the 11 that started against Iceland while Jorge Sampaoli is expected to ring the changes.
Stay with PREMIUM TIMES for Live updates from Saint Petersburg Stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Kickoff is 7 p.m.
NIGERIA TEAM NEWS
STARTING XI: Uzoho; Idowu, Balogun, Troost-Ekong, Omeruo; Etebo, Ndidi; Moses, Mikel, Musa; Iheanacho
SUBS: Ezenwa, Akpeyi, Echiejile, Ighalo, Shehu, Nwankwo, Obi, Onazi, Iwobi, Ogu, Awaziem, Ebuehi
ARGENTINA TEAM NEWS
STARTING XI: Armani; Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico; Mascherano, Banega; Perez, Messi, Di Maria; Higuain
SUBS: Aguero, Lo Celso Dybala, Pavon, Caballero, Guzman, Ansaldi, Biglia, Fazio, Acuna, Meza, Salvio
Argentina fans clearly outnumber those of Nigeria in the stadium. But Nigerian supporters will hope that does not affect the team.
The anthems of the two countries have been sung in the stadium and the teams are on the pitch.
Nigeria get the game underway in st Petersburg
Argentina dominating the early exchanges with fluid passing
First throwing for Nigeria
Brain Idowu gives away the ball easily in the Argentina half
Among the large number of fans in the stands is Lionel Messi’s wife who arrived today in Russia
Messi wins a free kick for Argentina after a tackle by Mikel
Benaga.. Argentina full back with the first shot at goal but off target
Shot.. long range effort by Musa goes over the bar
Throw in for Nigeria near the corner flank
Messi tries to wriggle his way through the Nigeria defense but the Eagles make a clearance
A lot of pressure coming on Nigeria but the Eagles have not started badly
In the other game.. it is still Croatia 0-0 Iceland
. That’s good for Nigeria
Iheanacho fumbles with ball
GOAL!! Lionel Messi gives Argentina the lead
Messi scored twice against Nigeria at the last World Cup. Hope he doesn’t do same tonight
Omeruo can’t stop the Argentine captain as he nets his 65th international goal
St. Petersburg is the 100th city Messi will be scoring for both club and country
First corner kick for Nigeria
Etebo gets a stern warning for dissent after being adjuged to foul De Maria
Nigeria win a throw in as we pass the half way mark in the first half
Messi again. But Uzoho.makes a brave safe.. appears injured though
Uzoho back on and the game resumes
Ndidi makes a cool interception
Yellow card for Nigeria as Leon Balogun makes a desperate tackle on Di Maria
Free kick for Argentina from 20 yards
Messi takes it and Uzoho makes a save
Etebo wins a free kick for Nigeria
Moses charged to.the floor and referee says play on
Benaga brings down Ndidi and Nigeria get a free kick
Etebo fires wide from outside the box
Shout for penalty as Iheanacho gets the boot to his head
Referee waved the call aside
Two minutes added time
Free kick for Nigeria but no card for Argentina
Half Time Nigeria 0-1 Argentina
Argentina get the second half underway
Ighalo in for Nigeria
Corner kick for Nigeria againai
Penalty kick for Nigeria
Mascheramo adjudged to bring Balogun down
Ighalo wins a free kick for Nigeria
Croatia leading Iceland 1-0.. that is Cool for Nigeria
Close… Ahmed Musa finds his way to the Argentina box but his final pass intercepted
Pavon in for Perez as Argentina make first change
Pavon already provinghis worth as Argentina win a corner kick
Argentina clearly dominating with 63% ball possession compared to Nigeria’s 37%
This has been an absorbing contest that can go anyway
Yellow card for Banega after a foul on Ndidi
Uzoho makes an easy catch
Shot!! NDIDI tries one and goes inches over the bar
Miss by Ighalo.. but Nigeria seems to have won a penalty
VAR .. Referee says no penalty
Taglafico out for Aguero
Higuain with a chance but over the bar and Maradona in stabds expresses grief
Respite for Nigeria as Eagles win a Free kick
Ighalo fails to bury another chance
Etebo takes the free but side netting
Argentina back in front
They have done it four Times…
Super Eagles crash out of World Cup
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