Thursday, June 26, 2014

World Cup 2014 : Argentina vs Nigeria 3-2

Its been a Messi show till now for Argentina in this tournament, & today's match against Nigeria was no different. In fact, the prodigal son of football, was at his mesmerising best, with two superb goals to take his country past the Super Eagles 3-2.
It was an engrossing affair, & a very closely fought contest, where at times one felt bad for the Nigerians....they had everything to put forward, minus a Messi in their ranks.
The game was fast paced from the beginning & the men in blue white stripes drew the first blood in the 3rd minute itself, when Di Maria send in a left footed volley which beat the goalkeeper, hit the toe end of the bar & bounced back into play, but before any of the defenders could clear it, Messi darted in & thundered the ball into the top corner of the net.... 1-0 & the stadium erupted in Argentinian celebrations....but even before everyone had settled down in the memory of his fantastic goal, the Nigerians tore through their left flank & Babaunde passed the ball to Musa, who cut in getting the better of a defender & unleashed a brilliant right footer, which sailed passed the outstretched Romero into the net .... it was 1-1.....breathtaking goals on either side. It was the first time that both teams had scored a goal within the first five minutes of the game in World Cup finals. The tome of the match was set, & both traded shots for shots....both the goalkeeper stretching limits to stave off any danger. After a couple of deft free kicks from Messi, that were were thwarted by the alert Nigerian goalkeeper, Enyeama, it was Messi magic again. The Nigerians were tardy in clearances & gave away another free kick at the stroke of the half time. Messi, unleashed a wicked left footer that curled like a banana in the air & went into the net, leaving every single person bemused. Fantastic goal to lead 2-1.
The opening five minutes of the 2nd half too produced goals....first it was Musa again, dashing into the Argentinian box, past three defenders & place neatly past the goalkeeper to level the score at 2-2. But again minutes after, Rojo deflects off a corner kick into the Nigerian net... 3-2.
The game continued at the same pace, though no more goals came by. Messi was rested in the 64th minute. He now tops the goal scorers along with Neymar at 4. it certainly is turning out to be a goal feast.

Argentina, having topped the group now face Switzerland, who surprisingly managed a facile 3-1 win over Honduras, as Ecuador drew blank against France.
Nigeria too have qualified despite this defeat & they will have to face an in form France, who topped the Group E.