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World Cup latest – Argentina survive

Marcos Rojo the hero as Argentina reach World Cup knockout stages after 2-1 win over Nigeria

Argentina, two-time world champions, left it late to secure a place in the knockout round of the World Cup.

A late goal by Marcos Rojo gave Argentina a dramatic 2-1 victory over Nigeria in Group D and sent the 2014 runners-up to the next round.

In front of a massive following of passionate and loud Argentine fans, the game began in ideal fashion for Jorge Sampaoli’s side, who had managed just a point from their opening two games.

Lionel Messi scored his first goal of the tournament in the 14th minute with an expertly taken shot.

It had been an impressive half from Argentina but the game was to take a twist shortly after the interval.

Nigeria were level six minutes after the restart, when Javier Mascherano fouled Leon Balogun in the area and Victor Moses stepped up to slot the resulting penalty past Franco Armani.

Nigeria wasted several chances to add a second and secure their place in the last-16 before the unlikely source of Manchester United central defender Rojo kept Argentina’s tournament alive and left Nigeria in despair.

In Argentina, it seemed like the final. People went from crying to celebrating in a matter of seconds,” she said.

The win was seen as a miracle.

 

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