NIGERIA 2-3 ARGENTINA
In a quite entertaining and open game, the Super Eagles were beaten 3-2 by Argentina even though they still qualified to the last 16 round. Nigeria qualified with four points, thanks to Bosnia-Herzegovina win against Iran.
Lionel Messi scored in the 3rd minute when Di Maria’s shot hit the cross bar to find the Argentine captain in the box unmarked, and the rest was history. Nigeria replied minutes later courtesy of Musa’s shot that curled towards the far post beating the goalkeeper.
Messi would again be on the score sheet minutes before the second half with a brilliant free kick that restored the South America’s lead. Musa scored his second goal but Marcos Roja netted the winner for Argentina, to give the team the maximum 9 points in 3 games.
BOSNIA 3-1 IRAN
Bosnia did not just win the game against Iran but also dominated it and eliminated them from the competition, helping Nigeria to go through the next stage. Edin Dzeko opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a shot that deflected off the post into the net.
In the second half, Miralem Pjanic made it 2-0 for Bosnia at the 53rd minute and Iran’s hope was lifted for a moment when Reza Ghoochannejhad scored a tap-in at the 81st minute but Bosnia’s Avdija Vrsaljevic scored the last goal making it 3 to 1.
Bosnia players left the pitch with their heads held high as they finished the group 3rd in position just a point behind Nigeria.
THE FRENCH AND THE SWISS ADVANCE
France 0-0 Ecuador
France played 10-man Ecuador to a goalless draw that was enough to see the team through to the last 16 as the group leaders while La Tri (Ecuador’s nickname) bowed out of the competition.
Ecuador’s skipper, Antonio Valencia was sent off early in the second half for a foul on France defender Lucas Digne. The Manchester United’s winger’s foot slipped off the ball which went over the defender’s leg. After consulting his assistant, the referee showed Valencia a straight red card and it was quite surprising that France failed to score against the 10-man team, given their free scoring style in their past 2 games.
Ecuador seemed to be well organized at the back but Le Blues were wasteful in front of goal.
SWITZERLAND 3-0 HONDURAS
The Swiss progressed to the second round of the World Cup with an impressive 3-0 victory over Honduras, courtesy of the hat trick hero Xhedran Shaqiri. The Bayern Munich playmaker fired home a brilliant curling opener, added another early in the second half and finished Honduras off by his 3rd, 20mins before the end of play.
KNOCKOUT FACE OFF
France will face Nigeria, the only African country so far to have progressed in the last 16, giving Africa hopes in the 2014 World Cup. Argentina will battle it out with Switzerland for a spot in the quarter finals.
7pm – Ghana vs Portugal and Germany vs USA
The black stars must beat Cristiano Ronaldo’s team by at least two goals and hope that German beats USA. The Americans and Germans need a draw to secure a spot in the 2nd round.
11pm – Algeria vs Russia and Korea vs Belgium
A draw for the African Desert Foxes might be enough to see them through if Belgium denies Korea a victory tonight.