Argentina wins thriller to advance out of the Group Stage.
Heading into today's Group D finale, Lionel Messi and Argentina were sitting in last place with just one point, their World Cup dreams hanging by a thread. But with a matchup against Nigeria, who entered the match sitting in second place with 3 points, there was still a chance for Argentina to advance to the round of 16 with a victory over the Super Eagles.
Argentina got on the board early, thanks to a smooth finish by Messi in the 14th minute and he nearly gave Argentina a 2-0 advantage later in the first half, but his free kick curled just wide of target as it clanked off the woodwork.
Early in the second half, Nigeria earned a corner kicks and although Etebo’s cross was headed away from danger, Argentina's Mascherano was whistled for holding Balogun and given a yellow card. Victor Moses easily converted the PK, tying the game at 1-1 with plenty of time to play.
The pivotal matchup remained tied up until the the 86th minute when Argentina's Marcos Rojo buried a right-footed volley, sending the crowd into a frenzy and, more importantly, keeping Argentina's World Cup run alive.
Because Iceland failed to beat Croatia, Argentina moved into second place with four points in the group stage as a result of today's win. Messi and co. will now take on France, the winners of Group C, in the next round. That heavyweight matchup is scheduled to take place this Saturday at 10:00am ET.