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Nigeria reach World Cup knockouts despite loss to Argentina

Nigeria

Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Nigeria’s Super Eagles became the first African team to qualify to the round of 16 in Brazil despite a 2-3 loss to Argentina.

In one of the 2014 World Cup’s best games so far, Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2, and both sides reach the next round.

Line-ups: 

Nigeria Starting XI: Enyeama; Ambrose, Yobo, Oshaniwa, Omeruo; Onazi, Mikel (c); Musa, Odemwingie, Babatunde; Emenike.

Argentina’s Starting XI: Romero, Zabaleta, Fernandez, Garay, Rojo, Mascherano, Gago, Di Maria, Aguero, Messi (c), Higuain.

The game started with a goal by Lionel Messi in the 3rd minute off a rebound from Angel Di Maria’s shot, however just two minutes later 21-year-old Ahmed Musa equalized for Stephen Keshi’s men after an impressive shot from the left flank.

After the two early goals the game’s rhythm slowed down temporarily. Alejandro Sabella’s side continued with their possession with very few serious attempts on goal.

This rhythm lasted till the 2nd minute of stoppage time, when Messi was again able to find the back of Enyeama‘s net with a superb free-kick – just moments after the Nigerian keeper denied the Barcelona star’s previous attempt from similar range.

The second half started with the Super Eagles equalizing again through winger Ahmed Musa.

Three minutes later, Argentina were able to regain their lead, again, when Rojo converted Eziquiel Lavezzi’s corner with his knee.

Argentina held on to win despite some late Nigerian pressure, while the other Group F match ended with Bosnia defeating Iran 3-1 – which sees the Africans reach the knockout stages for the first time since 1998.

Nigeria and Argentina both qualify to the round of 16, where the Super Eagles are set to meet France.

I wasn't talented enough to be a footballer so now I spend time watching and writing about those who are. Reporter and social media correspondent for KingFut.com

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