FIFA World Cup 2014, Highlights: Argentina Beat Nigeria But Both Advance From Group F
Argentina topped Group F with a formidable 3-2 win against Nigeria. The Africans should hardly complain as Bosnia's 3-1 win against Iran in the other Group F match meant that they finish second in the table.
Group F's second berth was tightly contested. Nigeria took on Argentina and emerged second best but their main rivals for a berth in knockouts - Iran - also lost to Bosnia. Here are the highlights from both matches. (Matchcentre | Points Table)
1125 hrs IST: Final whistle and Group F has its final two! Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2 but both teams have smiles on their faces and will play in the knockout stage. Iran lose 1-3 to Bosnia which means the team allows Nigeria to come second to Argentina.
1120 hrs IST: Four Minutes of additional time in Argentina vs Nigeria. The South Americans will seal this match in all probability but there will be two winners at Porto Alegre.
1111 hrs IST: Nigerians cheering Bosnia! The east European side scores another goal against Iran to take 3-1 lead in the 81st minute.
1110 hrs IST: Ten minutes left in both Group F matches. Iran have managed to pull one back. If the team continues to trail Bosnia, Nigeria and Argentina (currently 3-2 in favour of South Americans) will advance.
1100 hrs IST: Argentina have dominated in every aspect of this game. While Nigeria have shown fighting spirit, the African giants have not been able to take the attack to the other half of the field. After 70 minutes, scores still favour Argentina (3-2).
1952 hrs IST: That's all from Messi for today. After two goals, the Argentine skipper goes off in the 64th minute and is replaced by Ricardo Alvarez.
1048 hrs IST: Bosnia score second! Iran cracking under pressure as Bosnia and Herzegovina extend lead in the 59th minute.
1038 hrs IST: GOALS! This match is a nightmare for the defenders. Nigeria's Musa scores his second of the match and puts his side on level terms in the 48th minute. Attacking Argentina go into the lead three minutes later with Marcos Rojo's knee reflecting a corner into the Nigerian goal. Argentina lead 3-2 in the 51st minute.
1017 hrs IST: GOAL! He scored early and he scores once again in the dying minutes of the first half - Messi is truly a magician! A free-kick curves outwards to leave goalkeeper Enyeama stumped as Argentina go into the break with the 2-1 scoreline in their favour. Bosnia and Iran match goes into break as well with the former with the advantage.
1014 hrs IST: Messi gets a free-kick in the 44th minute! The ball was on target but Nigeria Enyeama has been flying his way to make the saves.
1011 hrs IST: After 40 minutes, Argentina have enjoyed 65 per cent of the possession against Nigeria. The team have also managed three shots on target as against two from their African opponents. Scores still level though.
1006 hrs IST:Sergio Aguero goes down! Getting some treatment on the field but he is taken off. Ezequiel Lavezzi replaces the Manchester City player. It is still 1-1 after 38 minutes of play.
1000 hrs IST: Argentina's wave of attacks on Nigeria's goal has hardly ceased. Angel di Mario curves one in but goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama dives to make a solid save in the 30th minute.
0953 hrs IST: Bosnia take lead against Iran! They threatened and the determination paid off as Edin Dzeko (23') puts his team in the lead with a long-range shot.
0944hrs IST: DID YOU KNOW? Messi has now scored nine goals in eight matches on the trot- including the current against Nigeria - for Argentina.
0940 hrs IST: Iran vs Bosnia and Herzegovina: The two teams are testing each other without much success in the early stages of the match - ten minutes in. Bosnia have had a few shots on target but they haven't been enough to silence passionate Iranian supporters.
0933 hrs IST: GOAL! Nigeria equalise! An electric start truly as Nigeria show they are no pushovers - the reply coming in the fifth minute from Ahmed Musa. DID YOU KNOW: This is the first time in World Cup's history that both teams in a match have scored within the first five minutes.
0932 hrs IST:GOAL! What a start from Argentina - Lionel Messi scores off a rebound in the fourth minute. Stadium erupts in celebrations to welcome his third goal this World Cup.
0925hrs IST: Argentina and Nigeria players out in the middle for the kickoff. It is a packed house Porto Alegre with majority in the stands wearing blue and white. The Argentine side has enjoyed fantastic support through the course the tournament.
Lionel Messi's Argentina play Nigeria. Having already qualified from Group F, Argentina need one point to make sure of top spot. A draw would also be good enough for Nigeria to go through to the last-16, but Iran will be looking for goals and hoping the Africans slip up, when they play Bosnia-Herzegovina. Catch all the live updates from the match here.
Argentina face a tricky game against Nigeria. The result here would determine if the South Americans face France or relatively easier opponents in either Switzerland or Ecuador. Argentina need to just draw to top the group while a Nigerian victory would mean that the Super Eagles would finish on top of Group F.
This match will also be of some interest to Iran, who are on the cusp of a historic last 16 qualification. If Nigeria lose and Iran win and improve on their goal difference, the Asians could be in their first ever prequarterfinals in the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Diego Maradona will root for his beloved Argentina from his hotel when they play Nigeria on Wednesday, opting to skip the stadium after the country's FA president suggested he had jinxed the team against Iran. "I don't want to be a problem for the government or for those who don't want me to go. I'll stay in the hotel watching on television," Maradona said. "I would never wish ill upon Argentina."
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