Nigeria 1-2 Argentina:Tues June 26: Nigeria v Argentina (Group D) – St Petersburg, Full Time
Argentina squeezed into the World Cup last 16 after Marcos Rojo’s fine late volley gave them a 2-1 win over Nigeria in St Petersburg.Argentina have qualified from the World Cup group stages for the fourth consecutive tournament (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018).
Nigeria: Uzoho (7), Idowu (6), Ndidi (7), Ekong (6), Balogun (6), Musa (7), Etebo (7), Mikel (7), Moses (7), Iheanacho (5), Omeruo (6)
Subs: Ighalo (6), Iwobi (NA), Simy (NA)
Argentina: Armani (7), Mercado (6), Rojo (6), Otamendi (5), Tagliafico (6), Mascherano (4), Banega (8), Perez (5), Di Maria (4), Messi (8), Higuain (4)
Subs: Pavon (6), Meza (6), Aguero (NA)
Man of the match: Ever Banega
Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr: “It’s a big disappointment because my team gave their best, they made a very good second half and missed qualifying by a few minutes. So I am proud of my players because they played well in the second half. We are missing a little bit of experience, we have a young team and I think this kind of matches are building the character of the team and in four years they will be very strong.”
Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli: “My players put their hearts out, with a lot of courage, in a very difficult moment. They have achieved a triumph which is very important for the future and that will strengthen us going further.”
Argentina will now play France in Kazan on Saturday, having finished second in Group D. Winners Croatia face Denmark on Sunday.
Nigeria v Argentina will go head-to-head in the 2018 World Cup in Russia on Tuesday, June 26. Nigeria v Argentina match will be held at in St Petersburg, Russia.
Squad and Team News:
Argentina are currently enduring their longest winless run in World Cup finals history, (W0 D2 L2).
Nigeria are looking to win successive World Cup games for the first time since 1998 – three points will also guarantee a place in the knockout stages for the fourth time.
Predicted Argentina Starting XI: 23 Willy Caballero, 2 Gabriel Mercado, 3 Nicolas Tagliafico, 8 Marcos Acuna, 10 Lionel Messi, 13 Maximiliano Meza, 14 Javier Mascherano, 15 Enzo Perez (21 Paulo Dybala 68), 17 Nicolas Otamendi, 18 Eduardo Salvio (22 Cristian Pavon 56), 19 Sergio Aguero (9 Gonzalo Higuain 55)
Argentina’s Full-man squad: Nahuel Guzman, Willy Caballero, Franco Armani; Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Federico Fazio, Nicolas Tagliafico, Marcos Rojo, Marcos Acuna, Cristian Ansaldi, Eduardo Salvio; Javier Mascherano, Angel Di Maria, Ever Banega, Lucas Biglia, Manuel Lanzini, Gio Lo Celso, Maximiliano Meza; Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, Cristian Pavon
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Willy Caballero (Chelsea), Franco Armani (River Plate).
Defenders: Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla),Cristian Ansaldi (Torino), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Federica Fazio (Roma), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP)
Midfielders: Enzo Perez (River Playe), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Lucas Biglia (Milan), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Giovani Lo Celso (Paris Saint-Germain), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors).
Forwards: Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus).
Lionel Messi,and it isn’t even close. He’s the top scorer in national team history and is well on his way to cementing his legacy as the best player the world has ever seen.
Predicted Nigeria Starting XI 23 Francis Uzoho, 2 Brian Idowu (21 Tyronne Ebuehi 46), 4 Wilfred Ndidi, 5William Troost-Ekong, 6 Leon Balogun, 7 Ahmed Musa, 8 Oghenekaro Etebo (18 Alex Iwobi 90), 10 Jon Obi Mikel, 11 Victor Moses, 14 Kelechi Iheanacho (9 Odion Ighalo 85), 22 Kenneth Omeruo
Nigeria’s Full-man squad: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi, Francis Uzoho, Dele Ajiboye; William Troost-Ekong, Leon Balogun, Olaoluwa Aina, Kenneth Omeruo, Bryan Idowu, Chidozie Awaziem, Abdullahi Shehu, Elderson Echiejile, Tyronne Ebuehi, Stephen Eze, John Obi Mikel, Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu, Wilfred Ndidi, Uche Agbo, Oghenekaro Etebo, Joel Obi; Mikel Agu; Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Junior Lokosa, Simeon Nwankwo
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba), Francis Uzoho (Deportivo La Coruna), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United)
Defenders: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor), Tyronne Ebuehi (Den Haag), Elderson Echiejile (Brugge), Bryan Idowu (Amkar Perm), Chidozie Awaziem (Nantes), William Troost-Ekong (Bursaspor), Leon Balogun (Brighton), Kenneth Omeruo (Kasimpasa)
Midfielders: John Obi Mikel (Tianjin TEDA), Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester), Oghenekaro Etebo (Las Palmas), John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Joel Obi (Torino)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Leicester), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Simeon Nwankwo (Crotone)
John Obi Mikel. The former Chelsea midfielder is the captain and at 31 years of age.