World Cup: Marcos Rojo Volleys Argentina Into Last 16 In Dramatic Victory Over Nigeria (Photos & Video)

Alan Duffy

26th, June 2018

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A late Marcos Rojo strike fired Argentina to a 2-1 victory over Nigeria in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, a result which sent the South American giants through to the last 16 of the World Cup.

Coming into the game bottom of Group D, Argentina were staring a very embarrassing exit from the competition in the face.

Nigeria knew a win would see them progress to the knockout stages, and they impressed throughout the game, with speedy Leicester attacker Ahmed Musa always a threat.

However, it was Argentina who would open the scoring after just 14 minutes, with Lionel Messi finally making his mark on Russia 2018 with a sublime piece of control and finish after a superb pass from Ever Banega.

Messi almost netted his second of the game just after the hour-mark, with his well-struck free-kick forcing a fine save out of Francis Uzoho.

While Banega excelled in a deep-lying playmaker role, his veteran midfield partner Javier Mascherano struggled against a youthful, energetic Nigerian outfit.

The Super Eagles would eventually get a deserved equaliser early in the second-half, with Mascherano adjudged to have been holding Leon Balogun in the box, although the Nigerian certainly made the most of it.

Chelsea wing-back Victory Moses calmly converted the resulting spot-kick to put Nigeria back in the driving seat.

Indeed, if second-half sub Odion Ighalo had been more clinical in attack, his side could have pulled ahead.

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Instead, it was Messi and co. who would net a dramatic late winner, courtesy of unlikely goal-hero Marcos Rojo, who produced the sweetest of right foot volleys to send the Argentina players, bench and fans wild.

A certain Mr. Diego Maradona seemed to like it too.

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Indeed, the great man was his usual magnanimous, polite self throughout the clash…

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The game would end 2-1 to La Albiceleste, who, after a tortuous group stage, live to fight another day, with France their Last 16 heavyweight opponents on Saturday.

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As for Nigeria, a lack of potency in attack cost them dearly. However, Salisu Yusuf’s young side are sure to learn from what was a rollercoaster ride of a World Cup for them.

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1 Comment

  1. Comfy Chair says:

    Diego “I’m a Tit” Maradona. Please, just go away! Just go away.

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