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World Cup 2018, Nigeria 1-2 Argentina: Best and worst players from the game

Nived Zenith
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
33.20K   //    27 Jun 2018, 03:55 IST

Rojo scored the winner for Argentina on the night
Rojo scored the winner for Argentina on the night

Argentina secured qualification to the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup with a late win over Nigeria in their Group D encounter at the Saint Petersburg Arena. Jorge Sampaoli opted for a tactical tweak and a number of notable changes in personnel heading into La Albiceleste's must-win game against the Super Eagles, who were yet again put to the sword at football's biggest stage by Argentina.

Lionel Messi opened the scoring in the 14th minute after he got on the end of a sublime pass from Ever Banega to slot the ball past Francis Uzoho in goal for Nigeria. However, Nigeria were presented with a glorious opportunity in the second half when the referee awarded a penalty against Javier Mascherano after he had man-handled Leon Balogun inside the penalty area.

Victor Moses made no mistake from the spot and scored what looked like the goal that could possibly knock Argentina out of the World Cup. Nigeria were ever so close to doing the same and were just four minutes away from booking their place in the pre-quarters before Marcos Rojo scored the winning goal in the 86th minute, to emerge as an unlikely hero for Sampaoli's men on the night.

The result helped Argentina finish second in Group B, only behind Croatia who retained top-spot with a win over Iceland, and La Albiceleste will face France on 30th June at the Kazan Arena in the pre-quarters. Without further delay, let's take a closer look at the best and worst performers from this intriguing encounter:


#5 Best - Victor Moses (Nigeria)

Moses produced a calm head in front of goal
Moses produced a calm head in front of goal

Victor Moses shouldered the responsibility of restoring parity for Nigeria from the penalty spot in a virtual knockout game on the night and he did not disappoint. The Chelsea wing-back sent Franco Armani the wrong way and dispatched his penalty with a calm and composed head to breathe life back into the game.

That was not all for Moses on the night as he worked tirelessly on the flanks for Gernot Rohr's men by running up and down without any signs of slowing down. The 27-year-old held more than his own in defence and did not hesitate to push forward whenever required to make up the numbers for his side in the opposition's half.

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Nived Zenith
ANALYST
An aspiring sports journalist who likes to live life on the edge. Avid reader and a life-long Chelsea fan :)
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