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.
Nigeria would feel hard done by with two clear penalties denied them by the Turkish referee in that match.
FIFA’s Team reporter Annette Braun with Nigeria says:
“They left it all on the pitch and came so close. After a difficult first half, Nigeria were superb after the break, crafting some good chances to go ahead. The young team can be proud. This experience will help them to evolve. They got a good taste of how a World Cup works and have everything to be able to build on that.”
Nigeria’s coach Gernot Rohr’s message to Nigeria supporters
“We have a very young team who lack some experience, but in four years we’ll be very strong. I want to thank our supporters who have come a long way to be here. Most matches we played in felt like away games. But it’s not about the quantity of supporters but the quality, and I think we have the best ones.”