Thursday, June 26, 2014

MESSI AND MUSA SCORES BRACE AS NIGERIA QUALIFIES FOR ROUND OF 16 DESPITE 3-2 DEFEAT BY ARGENTINA

                           Timing: The bomb was an hour before Nigeria's football team (pictured) played in the World Cup, losing 3-2
Nigeria will pay France in the round of 16 of Brazil 2014 world cup despite a 3-2 defeat in the hands of Group F leaders Argentina.

Two goals from Lionel Messi and a third by Marcos Rojo scored Argentina's winner was enough to defeat the African champions despite two swift goals from Super Eagles winger, Ahmed Musa

                      Punished: The 26-year-old's strike sails past Vincent Enyeama in the Nigeria goal
Inspired, no doubt, by a crowd dominated by the blue and white stripes of Argentina, Messi struck after just three minutes.

Racing onto a super pass from Fernando Gago, Di Maria unleashed a shot that hit the post and rebounded back against it after striking Vincent Enyeama on the back and then bounced into the path of the advancing Messi, who with his left foot simple drove the ball into the roof of the net.
                               Star: Lionel Messi (above) hit a brilliant double to help Argentina defeat Nigeria
Nigeria, however, within 60 seconds, levelled to make this the first match in World Cup history to see both teams score inside the first five minutes.

Infact, The celebrations of Argentina had barely died down when the Super Eagles levelled
                           Finish: Pablo Zabaleta (centre) is unable to stop Musa's fourth minute strike
Midfielder Michael Babatunde, who sadly left the field in the second half with what looked like a fractured arm after being struck by a fast-moving ball, surged forward unopposed before feeding a pass into Ahmed Musa, who in turn would be allowed to take a couple of steps inside before curling a stunning shot beyond the reach of a diving Romero.
                            Well done: The Nigerian players join Ahmed Musa in celebration after his first goal
The forwards on show continued to expose the fragility of both defences, but it was not until stoppage time in the first half that the next goal arrived.

Messi, who moments earlier drew an exceptional free-kick save from Vincent Enyeama, this time struck his dead ball over the wall and beyond the reach of the Lille goalkeeper.
                                  Argentina's Lionel Messi scores from a free-kick
It was the 27-year-old's fourth goal in three matches at Brazil 2014, having scored just once in his first eight World Cup appearances.
                         Jubilant: Messi (left), Di Maria (centre) and Marcos Rojo celebrate the opening goal
Nigeria knew that Bosnia-Hercegovina had taken an early lead against Iran, but the Super Eagles did not rest on their laurels and were level within two minutes of the restart.
                                Double: Ahmed Musa (left) grabbed his first World Cup brace to give Nigeria hope
Musa scored a wonderfu goal, accelerating onto a perfectly weighted, defence-splitting pass from Emmanuel Emenike.

Argentina’s defenders, in particular Federico Fernandez and Rojo are to be held responsible as they should have been more alert to the danger.
                                Ahmed Musa (centre) celebrates his second goal
Argentina, however, always seem to have an answer, their winner coming from a Ezequiel Lavezzi corner three minutes later. Ezequiel Garay got the flick on, with Rojo scoring off his thigh from close range.

Musa almost hit back for Nigeria but Manchester City, Pablo Zabaleta denied the CSKA Moscow winger a well deserved hat-trick with a goalline block.

Super Eagles of Nigeria captain, Joseph Yobo, made history as he played his 100th match for Nigeria on the day that was Messi's birthday.
                               Sealed: Joseph Yobo gives Musa (right) a kiss on the forehead as his first goal of the game
The result means Argentina finish top of Group F with three wins from three games, while Nigeria qualify in second with four points after Iran failed to defeat Bosnia-Hercegovina.

But both teams will surely need to tighten up if they are to advance to the latter stages of the competition, with neither teams likely to win any plaudits for their defending.

Nigeria will face France in the last 16 in Brasilia next Monday, while Argentina take on Switzerland a day later in Sao Paulo.

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