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Welcome to Nigerianeye's live text coverage of the World Cup meeting between Nigeria and Argentina at the Krestovsky Stadium in St Petersburg.

Despite their worst showing at the finals since 1974, La Albiceleste can still claim a spot in the last 16 of the competition this evening with their first victory.

The Super Eagles' fate is in their own hands, however, as they occupy second place in Group D and know that even a point may be enough depending on results elsewhere.

Follow all of the action as it unfolds with our extensive updates below.


NIGERIA: Uzoho; Idowu, Balogun, Troost-Ekong, Omeruo; Etebo, Ndidi; Moses, Mikel, Musa; Iheanacho

SUBS: Ezenwa, Akpeyi, Echiejile, Ighalo, Shehu, Nwankwo, Obi, Onazi, Iwobi, Ogu, Awaziem, Ebuehi

ARGENTINA: Armani; Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico; Mascherano, Banega; Perez, Messi, Di Maria; Higuain

SUBS: Aguero, Lo Celso Dybala, Pavon, Caballero, Guzman, Ansaldi, Biglia, Fazio, Acuna, Meza, Salvio

Argentina are through to the last 16 of the World Cup at the expense of Nigeria, who squandered a couple of good chances at 1-1 and maybe should have had a penalty. Marcos Rojo grabbed the headlines with his impressive volley four minutes from time, setting up what should be a classic meeting with France in Kazan on Saturday. Thanks for joining our live coverage of the match!


90+2 min NIGERIA SUB! Ahmed Musa is looking shattered - he has done for a while - and is now replaced by Simeon Nwankwo. Lionel Messi has just been booked, but he will not care in the slightest as his side are now seconds away from a huge victory.

90 min GROUP D UPDATE! Croatia have just regained the lead against Iceland in Rostov, meaning that Argentina now just need to see out these four minutes of added time and they will be into the last 16 of the World Cup.

88 min With three minutes to go Argentina have salvaged their World Cup campaign - again! What an unbelievable finish this is from Marcos Rojo - a defender, remember! - as he guides a volley past a crestfallen Uzoho. Argentina are heading into the last 16!


86 min This one will not even go to a VAR check, but Argentina are certain they should have a penalty. Meza was brought to ground in the box, but tellingly the substitute is one of the only ones not complaining about the decision.

84 min SAVE! Argentina are all over the place at the back as they are throwing players forward. Ighalo with another big chance, with this latest one being saved by Armani down low. How big a moment could that prove to be?

82 min CHANCE! A glorious chance goes begging for Higuain! The ball is cut back to the unmarked striker 10 yards from goal, yet he could only send it flying well over the bar. Aguero was brought on for Tagliafico seconds beforehand.

80 min GROUP D UPDATE! Gylfi Sigurdsson has just levelled up from the spot for Iceland in their meeting with Croatia. Nothing for Nigeria to worry about yet, unless the Icemen net another couple of goals in the last 10 minutes.

78 min NO PENALTY! The referee takes a look at the pitchside monitor - usually a sign that the officials want the decision overturned - but he sticks to his original decision. Ball to hand, and not handball - Rojo has been let off.

76 min CLOSE! The net looked destined to ripple from this Odion Ighalo shot. Rojo's clearance was volleyed inches wide of target by the striker. There could be further drama, though, because VAR is being used for a potential Rojo handball.

74 min Nigeria concede a sloppy free kick, but once again Argentina are unable to make the most of it. Meza, on the field for less than two minutes, then failed to beat his man down the left and the latest attack came to an abrupt end.

72 min SHOT! Wilfred Ndidi puts his foot through the ball from 20 yards and sends a shot flying over the bar. That came through good work from Ahmed Musa, who squared the ball after bursting forward. Meza is now on for Di Maria.

70 min More than 20 minutes have passed since Nigeria levelled up through that Victor Moses penalty, and Argentina have not done enough to warrant a second goal in that time. They are desperately looking to get star man Messi involved, ultimately to no avail.

68 min Despite needing a goal to avoid an early exit, Argentina cannot muster a clear-cut chance. There are thousands of La Albiceleste fans urging their players on, but at the moment it is proving to be another frustrating evening for them.

66 min Pavon went with neither a shot nor cross in the end, allowing Uzoho to comfortably collect. Nigeria now have less than 25 minutes to see out and they will be in the last 16 of the World Cup. It is all about digging in from this point.

64 min YELLOW CARD! A few challenges flying in now. Argentina frustrated as Ever Banega has been cautioned for a foul, moments after Pavon was clipped without a free kick being awarded. Time fast starting to tick down for the two-time world champions.

62 min ARGENTINA SUB! Here comes that first Argentina sub, as Cristian Pavon comes on for Enzo Perez to provide some attacking spark. A cross from the right is well cut out for a La Albiceleste corner, which they fail to make the most of.

60 min Musa got the better of Mascherano but could not quite pull if back for one of his teammates when in behind. Argentina are now desperately holding on and could do with a change to swing momentum back their way. Huge 30 minutes ahead!

58 min Unless Iceland net twice, Group D now comes down to events in St Petersburg. Argentina have a little over half an hour to rescue themselves, or else they will exit the World Cup at the group stage - hands up who called that before a game was played!

56 min Back in St Petersburg, Banega slides in on his man inside the box but successfully takes the ball. Nigeria are the side on top in the minutes since levelling up the contest, and that Croatia goal is only good news for the Super Eagles.

54 min GROUP D UPDATE! Moses had to wait a good couple of minutes before taking that penalty, with Ighalo and Rojo exchanging words. Elsewhere, Croatia have just taken the lead against Iceland through Milan Badelj.

52 min What a huge, huge moment this is. Victor Moses steps up to take the penalty and rolls it the opposite way that Franco Armani dived. That changes the whole complexion of Group D, as the Super Eagles are now second behind Croatia.


49 min PENALTY TO ARGENTINA! Referee Cuneyt Cakir has pointed to the spot for a Nigeria penalty! I mentioned Javier Mascherano has had a stinker... from the corner he gave away the midfielder grabbed hold of Leon Balogun and the spot kick is awarded.

48 min Mascherano, who has had a really bad game, gets his head to a cross but only succeeds in heading it against one of his teammates and the ball goes out for a corner. The South Americans need to find their feet again.

46 min RESTART! Argentina get us back up and running at the Krestovsky Stadium, looking to build on their one-goal lead from the first half. Nigeria have made a change at the interval - Odion Ighalo is on for Kelechi Iheanacho.

Mikel flicked on a header from a deep Oghenekaro Etebo cross from the final act of the first half, with Franco Armani making a routine stop. The first half belongs to Argentina, who edged in front through a fine Lionel Messi goal and then came closest to finding the second goal of the evening.

45 min Carnage on the edge of the Argentina box. The ball deflected off the referee and a whole array of players dived in, before it was cleared away. Before that, Rojo caught Iheanacho's head when clearing the ball in the penalty area.

43 min A stoppage in play now as Mascherano has picked up a facial injury. Sampaoli will be the happier of the two managers at the interval, which is now just a couple of minutes away, but this game - and indeed Group D overall - is far from finished.

41 min Good goalkeeping from Armani, who raced out of goal to clear the ball before Musa could make contact. It looked like being a corner for Nigeria, but the referee has told them to take a throw-in instead. Etebo blasts the ball wide when it fell to them.

39 min Half time is fast approaching in St Petersburg and, while they only have the one goal to their name, Argentina are looking in control of this game at the moment. Will Gernot Ruhr be tempted to alter formation or personnel at the break?

37 min Argentina have certainly looked the more threatening side over the past 10 minutes. Higuain missed a good chance and Messi hit the post with that free kick a couple of minutes ago, awarded after Di Maria was brought down on the counter.

35 min OFF THE POST! Lionel Messi steps over the ball from the free kick 22 yards out and sends it against the upright. Replays show that Francis Uzoho got a fingertip to the ball on its way through, so that goes down as a terrific save.

33 min YELLOW CARD! The game's first yellow card is shown to Leon Balogun after bringing down Angel Di Maria on the break. The Argentina players are urging the referee to review the tackle because Di Maria was on the edge of the box, but Nigeria did have a player over.

31 min It remains goalless in the game between Iceland and Croatia, so as things stand Argentina are heading for the last 16. Jorge Sampaoli would love to see his side net a second, and they could well have got it through that Higuain chance.

29 min SAVE! Goalscorer Messi turns creator by sliding a perfectly-weighted ball through for Gonzalo Higuain. The Juventus striker, in for Sergio Aguero tonight, cannot quite lift it over Francis Uzoho, who is clattered in the process.

27 min Just the one chance so far in St Petersburg, which Lionel Messi made no mistake with. Argentina have seen more of the ball but there has not been a great deal between the sides since that opening goal 14 minutes in.

25 min That was Messi's first goal at the World Cup since netting in a 3-2 win against Nigeria in the group stage four years ago. Twenty-two shots later he is back up and running with a confidence-boosting goal, not just for him but also his teammates.

23 min Not quite happening for the Super Eagles in the final third at the moment. Javier Mascherano is trying his best to let the opposition back into the match, seemingly unable to pick out a teammate with any of his passes from central midfield.

21 min The pass from Banega may well be the assist of the tournament so far - may be wrong but can't think of a better one off the top of my head. Nigeria have not offered a great deal in response, but they have plenty of time to hit back in St Petersburg.

19 min The through-ball from Banega for that goal was very good, and the take from Lionel Messi even better. It was a goal that had Diego Maradona celebrating high in the stands, as his beloved nation attempt to salvage their World Cup campaign.

17 min Lionel Messi's name is being chanted around the ground. That was the 100th goal of the 2018 World Cup and, as things stand with the Iceland-Croatia game goalless, it is enough to send La Albiceleste into the last 16 of the tournament.

15 min The Krestovsky Stadium has just erupted! Lionel Messi is carrying the weight of a nation, and he has finally ended his barren scoring run at the World Cup finals with an impressive finish past Francis Uzoho. The forward latched on to a through-ball from Ever Banega and kept his composure in front of goal.


13 min Argentina have done more of the probing in the attacking third so far, but Nigeria are arguably looking the more dangerous. A sloppy pass from Mascherano is pounced on by Mikel, but the former Barcelona man redeemed himself with a last-ditch tackle.

11 min Ahmed Musa has had a couple of bright moments over the past few minutes. The Leicester City striker's first shot of the evening was a disappointing one, though, as he lost his footing as he pulled the trigger and could not test Armani.

9 min Nicolas Tagliafico bursts into the Nigeria box but, under a bit of pressure and already off balance, the Ajax man miscued his shot wide of the target. Up the other end, Musa is given a ball to chase down and does well to win a throw high up.

7 min Argentina are given a chance to counter after their opponents omitted a few bodies forward. John Obi Mikel illegally blocks the run of Lionel Messi and escapes with just a telling off from the Turkish referee.

5 min Nicolas Otamendi attempts a deep through-ball that went right the way through for Francis Uzoho to collect. A few sloppy passes from the Argentinians early on here - they are struggling to settle into any sort of rhythm.

3 min A few minutes in and neither side have really settled into proceedings just yet at the Krestovsky Stadium. Lionel Messi appears to be out on the right, with Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain looking to link up more centrally.

1 min KICKOFF! Denmark became the latest side to book their place in the last 16 earlier today; which of Argentina, Nigeria and Iceland will join them? All will be revealed over the next couple of hours, with the Super Eagles getting us under way here.


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