Lionel Messi scored twice as Argentina sealed top spot in Group F with a 3-2 victory over Nigeria, but the Super Eagles still made the round of 16. The first two goals of an entertaining encounter came within the opening four minutes. Argentina found themselves ahead inside three minutes when Messi lashed into the roof of the net after Angel Di Maria’s effort had ricocheted between the post and goalkeeper.
However, the lead lasted just seconds as Michel Babatunde raced at the Argentine defence before playing in Ahmed Musa, who curled a shot beyond Sergio Romero.
Argentina, who saw Sergio Aguero limp off during the first half, were back in front just before the break when Messi curled in a free kick, but Nigeria were again quick to respond, with Musa rounding off a neat move with a slick finish just after the restart.
Once more, though, the scoreline did not last long: Marcos Rojo used his knee to divert home a corner on 50 minutes and restored the South Americans’ lead.
Nigeria were unable to force an equaliser but, with Iran losing to Bosnia-Herzegovina in the group’s other game, they were still able to claim second place in the group.