Now or never for Nigeria against lacklustre Argentina
World Cup 2018 By: Lolade Adewuyi | 26/06/2018
While the world anticipates an Argentina victory against Nigeria in order that Lionel Messi may continue to be at this year’s World Cup, the Super Eagles have an axe of their own to grind.Meeting in Saint Petersburg for the fifth time at the World Cup on Tuesday, Nigeria
All the four matches played between both sides at the World Cup have been very tight. A 2-1 victory for a Diego Maradona-inspired side at USA ’94 was followed by a 1-0 win at Japan/South Korea 2002 before another 1-0 win at South Africa 2010.There was a higher appetite for goals when they met at Brazil 2014 where it ended 3-2 with both Messi and Nigeria talisman, Ahmed Musa, scoring two apiece before Marcos Rojo grabbed the winner from a corner kick.The Argentines have scored all but one of their seven goals against Nigeria at the World Cup from set pieces but now face a Nigeria side that stopped Iceland from scoring from the dead ball situation last Friday in Volgograd.There is a contrast in confidence between both teams. Nigeria defeated Iceland 2-0 through Ahmed Musa’s brace while Argentina suffered an unlikely group stage mauling at the hands of Croatia in a game that ended 3-0.
Defender Bryan Idowu was confident that they are capable of making sure the great player who turned 31 on Sunday ends his career without a World Cup. He was backed by his coach Rohr, who declared that there will be “no mercy” for the highly admired Argentina captain.This Nigeria side has a rare opportunity where it is in a better psychological state than Argentina for the first time in 24 years. What they do with that opportunity will be talked about for all of football history.Just like the game against Nigeria at USA ’94 became the last for Diego Maradona who went on to test positive for a banned substance, they would fancy making this Messi’s last game as well.
This is the best time to beat #ARG If #NGA don't do it this #WorldCup, they might never. Their confidence is quite low. I could feel it in the voice of Jorge Sampaoli. He hopes to revive their campaign but it's time to send them home early. This is our chance.— Lolade Adewuyi (@Jololade) June 25, 2018