Wednesday, June 25, 2014

World Cup 2014: What 'magician' Messi can do 'superb' Musa can do

Ahmed Musa (centre) celebrates his second goal
Nigeria are through to the knock-out stage despite losing 3-2 to Argentina. Here, they celebrate an Ahmed 'superb' Musa goal (Photo Credit: EPA)
Messi scored for Argentina just 3 minutes into the game, Musa equalised for Nigeria in a minute later. 

And as records are being set daily in this World Cup, the first two goals inside five minutes are the first in World Cup history where two opposing teams both scored this early. 

Then Messi scored again in the 45th minute - taking a 2-1 lead into the break, but Musa levelled again two minutes (47th) after the break.

So it was evident that what former world best Lionel Messi can do, rising star Ahmed Musa can do the same or even better. 

But his effort was overshadowed by a Marcos Rojo goal in the 50th minute which gave Argentina a 3-2 win over Nigeria at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre on Wednesday.

Messi shares the spotlight as fates are decided
Argentina's 'magician' Lionel Messi celebrates goal against Nigerian opponents (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Both Argentina and Nigeria qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup from group F, with the former top at 9 points and the later 2nd with 4 points.

In the other group F game, Bosnia-Herzegovina defeated Iran 3-1, a result that left both teams crashing out of the world cup finals.  

Nigeria will now face group E winners France at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia on June 30, while Argentina takes on 2nd place Switzerland a day after at the Arena de Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo.

The Super Eagles campaign saw them played a goalless draw against Iran in their opening match, secured a narrow 1-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina, and lose 3-2 to Argentina in final group match.

They are the first African team to reach the round of 16 after Cameroon and Côte d'Ivoire exit the finals. This is the third time Nigeria reaches the FIFA World Cup round of 16 and have defeated Spain and Bulgaria in 1998 to reach the second round.

Written by Modou S. Joof

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