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Key Events

90' + 4'
L. Messi
Yellow Card
90' + 1'
M. Obi
Yellow Card
M. Rojo
G. Mercado
1 - 2
V. Moses
Penalty Goal
1 - 1
L. Messi
É. Banega
0 - 1

Match Stats

33% 66%
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 3 4
Total Passes 283 572
  • Heatmap
  • Touch Map
Live table
Pos Team P W D L F A +/- PTS Form
1 Croatia CRO Croatia 3 3 0 0 7 1 +6 9 W W W
2 Argentina ARG Argentina 3 1 1 1 3 5 -2 4 W L D
3 Nigeria NGA Nigeria 3 1 0 2 3 4 -1 3 L W L
4 Iceland ISL Iceland 3 0 1 2 2 5 -3 1 L L D


8th Finals


Thank you for joining us for the match. Until next time, goodbye.
Argentina have secured a clash against France in the round of 16, having finished second in the group behind Croatia. Nigeria's young side can be proud of their performance and the Super Eagles side will surely come back fighting in another tournament, as they have years ahead of them.
It was late, it was great and Argentina seal their spot in the knockout stages of the World Cup. They had to work hard to get it but, in the end, Marcos Rojo was the unlikely hero as Jorge Sampaoli's side live to fight on. A cruel blow to Nigeria, who were fantastic - particularly in the second half.
L. Messi
Yellow Card
90' + 4' Argentina running time down now and Messi earns a yellow card for wasting time.
S. Nwankwo
A. Musa
90' + 2' Third and final change for Nigeria as Musa, who has run himself into the ground in the match, is replaced by Simy.
90' + 2' Even more noise from the Argentina supporters as news filters through that Croatia have retaken the lead against Iceland. Now all that can knock them out is a Nigeria equaliser.
M. Obi
Yellow Card
90' + 1' A late yellow card for Mikel, as Nigeria stand on the verge of an exit.
90' + 1' We are into four minutes of added time.
A. Iwobi
K. Omeruo
90' Iwobi, who scored a brace against Argentina in a 4-2 win back in November, is introduced for a late cameo in place of Omeruo.
88' Argentina, as it stands, are through to the round of 16 by the skin of their teeth but the picture could change once again with just a single goal. It will certainly be a nervous finale.
G. Mercado
86' Mercado's deliver was pinpoint and an unlikely hero emerges for Argentina. A cruel blow for Nigeria.
M. Rojo
86' GOOOOOOAL! Argentina lead 2-1! Rojo could be the hero! Mercado curls a superb cross into the middle where the Manchester United man tucks home superbly with his right foot. The roof has just lifted off the stadium!
86' Meza tumbles in the box and Argentina desperately appeal for a penalty. Nigeria stand firm but it's still very finely balanced in St. Petersburg.
85' WIDE! Big moment for Nigeria after Banega concedes a free-kick just outside the box and Etebo smashes an effort onto the roof of the net. Very, very close but Argentina fight on!
83' SAVE! At the other end, Nigeria have a chance to take the lead and secure their spot in the knockout stages but Armani makes a crucial save to deny Ighalo.
81' MISS! Was that the moment for Argentina? Rojo drills a low ball back into the middle of the penalty area where Higuain is lurking but he lashes his shot off target.
S. Agüero
N. Tagliafico
80' Last roll of the dice for Sampaoli and it's not surprising to see Aguero take to the field. Tagliafico is replaced.
78' The closing moments of Group D will be decided by very fine margins as Iceland have equalised against Croatia. They need to win to have a chance but it means a goal in either match could change the picture once again.
77' No penalty! The correct decision in the end from the referee, it would have been very harsh. Common sense prevails and the action gets back underway.
76' VAR is being consulted as Nigeria appeal for a handball and it certainly struck the arm of Rojo. It was headed down onto the arm and the referee has trotted to the touchline to assess the incident.
75' WIDE! A huge miss for Nigeria! Musa finds space down the left and drills a low ball back into the middle, where the ball is deflected up in the air and then smashed at goal by Ighalo - but it's wide of the mark.
74' The attitude from the Argentina fans inside the stadium has started to shift. They are starting to grow frustrated, knowing that their World Cup could be set to come to a premature end.
M. Meza
Á. Di María
72' Second change of the game for Argentina, who bring on Meza for Di Maria.
71' OVER! Nigeria could be made to rue these missed chances, as Ndidi fires a shot over the bar from distance.
69' Moses' penalty was the 16th so far at the 2018 World Cup. Only the 1998 tournament has seen more (17).
68' Nigeria have now faced an extended period without the ball, as Messi and company try to carve through an organised defensive line.
66' Argentina are banging on the door looking for a goal that will send them through to the knockout stages but Nigeria are remaining firm in defence. The game still hangs on a knife-edge.
É. Banega
Yellow Card
64' Banega lunges in on Ndidi and earns a yellow card.
63' The introduction of Pavon shows Sampaoli's attacking intent and Argentina certainly do have a wealth of options from the bench, including Aguero and Dybala. Certainly not bad options to call upon when you need a goal.
C. Pavón
E. Pérez
61' Argentina make their first change of the game, replacing Perez with Pavon.
59' Musa breaks with pace down the left side and beats Mascherano with a fine bit of skill but his pass back towards Ighalo in the middle is cut out.
58' Nigeria will also have to show plenty of strength for the remainder of the match as they will certainly come under a lot of pressure as the game progresses.
56' The Nigeria goal, if anything, has just resulted in the Argentina fans making even more noise. They know they have a part to play and they are doing their best to help their side push towards a win they need.
55' A big test of Argentina's character now as they have work to do. Sampaoli will have warned his side at the break that things can change in an instant and they have learnt that first hand.
53' The Nigeria goal is crucial as it means the African side are going through as it stands. In the other game, Croatia have taken the lead against Iceland.
52' A huge roar at the other end as Di Maria falls to ground under pressure from Moses but the referee is not interested in his protests.
V. Moses
Penalty Goal
51' GOAL! Moses tucks home from the spot and it's 1-1! The Chelsea man was cool after an extended wait to take the penalty, waiting for Armani to make his move and slotting to the right-hand side.
50' VAR is being consilted and there is definitely contact between Mascherano and Balogun. It may be harsh but the defenders have been warned throughout the tournament and have not learnt their lesson.
J. Mascherano
Yellow Card
49' Mascherano is booked for the foul but the punishment could get worse for Argentina.
49' PENALTY! Etebo whips a corner into the middle and Mascherano is adjudged to have fouled a Nigeria man inside the area.
47' The introduction of Ighalo makes sense for Nigeria as Iheanacho was poor in the first period and did pick up a knock in the latter stages.
46' KICK-OFF! Argentina get us back underway for the second half for the final 45 minutes of Group D.
O. Ighalo
K. Ịheanachọ
46' Nigeria make a change at the break, introducing Ighalo for Iheanacho.
Argentina look comfortable but the picture can quickly change. An equaliser for Nigeria would send Argentina home and Iceland, if they beat Croatia in the other match, could also send Sampaoli's side back to Buenos Aires. There is still a long way to go and there is work to be done.
Argentina have the lead at the break and, crucially, are through to the last 16 as it stands. Messi has finally arrived at the World Cup and his goal was fantastic, with two brilliant touches after latching on Banega's lofted pass before smashing into the far corner. Nigeria have not offered enough going forward.
45' + 1' We are into two minutes of additional time at the end of the first half.
44' Iheanacho is down inside the box after a high foot from Rojo but the Manchester United man got the ball. He was holding the striker though, so he certainly has a case to appeal for a penalty.
43' Still goalless between Croatia and Iceland, by the way, which means that Argentina are through as it stands. A goal in either game could change the picture significantly though.
41' Etebo has done well for Nigeria in midfield but his latest shot will not make the highlight reel, as he scuffs the effort and sees it go out for a throw-in.
40' The noise inside the stadium is incredible. All the talk was of an Argentina crisis but the fans are not letting those reported issues affect their mood.
38' Nigeria look like they could benefit from the half-time break as they are short of ideas at the moment. They started with some spark but have lost that since falling behind.
36' Armani, making his international debut at the age of 31, is yet to be tested by Nigeria's attack.
34' OFF THE POST! Messi steps up to take the resulting free-kick and tries to catch Uzoho out by going for the right-hand side of the goal but his effort clatters back off the post.
L. Balogun
Yellow Card
32' A big moment in the match as Di Maria surges through on goal and is clipped from behind by Balogun, who earns a yellow card. Argentina are appealing for a red card but there was another covering defender.
30' Nigeria are being really wasteful on the ball as they continue to try to go long to their strikers and Argentina are having no problems at all in defence.
28' Uzoho, thankfully, is back on his feet and able to continue.
27' SAVE! Messi feeds an excellent through ball to the feet of Higuain but Uzoho is quick off his line to save the attempt from the Juventus forward. The stopper is now receiving some treatment after being caught after Higuain's shot.
26' Nigeria have struggled to get on the ball since falling behind and they are trying to go direct, conceding possession too easily.
24' Banega is pulling the strings for Argentina in midfield, while Messi looks to be in the mood. Nigeria could be set for a very difficult game, though it would be interesting to see how the atmosphere would change if they found an equaliser.
22' Nigeria have done fairly well so far but they have been undone by one moment of magic. The sort of half chances that fell to Musa and Iheanacho earlier need to be taken if the Super Eagles are to claw their way back into the match.
20' Messi's goal was the 100th of the 2018 World Cup.
18' The Argentina fans in the stadium are singing Messi's name and the importance of the goal is massive. As it stands, Argentina will join Croatia in the round of 16.
16' Messi’s strike was his sixth in World Cup competitions. 50% of those goals have come against Nigeria (two in 2014).
É. Banega
14' Messi's run was sublime but the ball from Banega was pinpoint, putting the ball on the plate for Argentina's number 10.
L. Messi
14' GOOOOOAL! Messi gives Argentina a 1-0 lead! Banega lofts a fantastic ball over the Nigeria defence to find Messi who surged into space, striking into the far corner of the net.
13' Mascherano sloppily gives the ball away and Iheanacho puts Argentina's defence under pressure. However, the Leicester man is indecisive on the ball and Mascherano makes up for his error.
11' Argentina struggled against Iceland's organised defence during their opening World Cup game and Nigeria have adopted a similar approach here, sitting back when they don't have the ball to limit the space for the Argentines to exploit.
9' OVER! Nigeria are starting to find their feet and are getting shots in on goal but Musa, slipping as he strikes, fires an effort over Armani's bar.
7' First charge forward for Nigeria through Otebo but his shot from just outside the edge of the area is blocked. Nigeria hit on the counter and Mikel fouls Messi to quell the danger.
5' Argentina have dominated possession in the early exchanges but their final ball has not been up to scratch. Messi is hugging the touchline on the right so far.
3' The stands are a sea of Argentina's famous blue and white striped jersey, with only small pockets of Nigeria's green. It should be a cracking atmosphere.
1' KICK-OFF! We're underway in St. Petersburg, where Nigeria get us started.
The national anthems are done, the teams are out and it is time for Group D to come to a close!
Nigeria have faced Argentina in each of their last three World Cups in 2002, 2010 and 2014 - losing each of those matches by a one goal margin.
Argentina make wholesale changes to the side defeated by Croatia, with Sampaoli making five overall. Aguero and Caballero are the big names to be dropped, along with Salvio, Acuna and Meza. Armani, Banega, Rojo, Di Maria and Higuain are the players who come into the side.
Nigeria are unchanged from their victory over Iceland and will hope that Musa and Iheanacho can cause the Argentina defence problems. Idowu was born in St. Petersburg and plays in his home town this evening.
Argentina subs: Nahuel Guzman, Willy Caballero, Giovani Lo Celso, Maximiliano Meza, Paulo Dybala, Lucas Biglia, Eduardo Salvio, Cristian Pavon, Federico Fazio, Marcos Acuna, Sergio Aguero, Cristian Ansaldi.
Nigeria subs: Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi, Alex Iwobi, Simy, Odion Ighalo, Tyronne Ebuehi, Abdullahi Shehu, Chidozie Awaziem, John Ogu, Elderson Echiejile, Joel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi.
Argentina XI: Franco Armani; Gabriel Mercado, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico; Javier Mascherano, Ever Banega; Enzo Perez, Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria; Gonzalo Higuain.
Nigeria XI: Francis Uzoho; Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, William Troost-Ekong; Victor Moses, Wilfred Ndidi, John Obi Mikel, Oghenekaro Etebo, Brian Idowu; Kelechi Iheanacho, Ahmed Musa.
Argentina, defeated finalists in 2014, know that they have to beat Nigeria this evening and hope that Croatia also defeat Iceland. Beyond that, things get extremely complicated and Jorge Sampaoli's side enter the match under severe pressure. Even if they do advance, the two-time World Cup winners have still fallen short of expectations so far.
Nigeria know qualification is within their hands as victory for the Super Eagles this evening will seal their spot in the round of 16. A draw will also be enough if Iceland do not beat Croatia. Things can get quite complicated though so expect the situation to change throughout the evening - we will keep you updated throughout!
Hello and welcome to live text commentary of the Group D match between Nigeria and Argentina at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.