from KARIM KADDOURI in Moscow, Russia
MOSCOW – ARGENTINA have broken Nigeria’s hearts, and by extension, those of millions of Africans, with a late winner during a nail-biting Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) Group D encounter at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Russia.
Marcos Rojo scored with four minutes remaining to seal victory for the
South Americans and a place in the Last 16 and enhance their dominance
over the Super Eagles.
The Nigerians, needing a draw to qualify after other match in the group
went their way, Croatia beating Iceland 2-1 at the Rostov Arena.
In contracts, Argentina had looked to be tumbling out having started the
day bottom of the group after a single point from two matches.
Argentina took the lead in the 14th minute through Lionel Messi, who
showed great composure inside the box to score his first of the
Victor Moses brought the West African back into the game with a 51st
minute penalty after Javier Mascherano pulled down Leon Balogun inside at the opposite end.
Nigeria felt hard done after Rojo appeared to handle in the box. He had
earlier escape another sanction for a high foot on Kelechi Iheanacho.
He returned to haunt the Africans with a last-gasp winner after volleying
into the net following a great cross from Gabriel Mercado.
Argentina had previously beaten Nigeria in the 1994, 2002, 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
– CAJ News