As it happened: Ahmed Musa gives Nigeria chance of progression against Iceland

As it happened: Ahmed Musa gives Nigeria chance of progression against Iceland

Connor Bennett & James Rees
Nigeria(3-5-2) Uzoho; Omeruo, Ekong, Balogun; Moses, Etebo (Iwobi 90'), Mikel, Ndidi, Idowu (Ebuehi 46'); Musa, Iheanacho (Ighalo 85').
Iceland(4-4-2) Halldorsson; Saevarsson, Arnason, R. Sigurdsson (Ingason 65'), Magnusson, Gislason, Gunnarsson (Skulason 87'), G. Sigurdsson, Bjarnasonn; Bodvarsson (Sigurdarson 71'), Finnbogason.
SCORE 1-0, Musa 49'. 2-0, Musa 75'.
REFEREEMatt Conger (NZL). Booked: Idowu (44').
INCIDENTS2018 FIFA World Cup Gorup D match at the Volgograd Arena, Volgograd.
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I will leave it there for this evening. On behalf of Connor and myself, thanks for following along. Brandon Sayer has live updates on the final game of the day between Serbia and Switzerland right here. Bye.

A superb second half display from Nigeria, and especially Ahmed Musa. The result sets up the final round of games perfectly, with both sides, plus Argentina, still able to join Croatia in the last 16. Nigeria will need just a win against Argentina to progress.

FULL TIME. Nigeria 2-0 Iceland.

90+6: He's back on for the final moments.

90+4: Mikel is struggling with a hand or wrist problem. He's now getting treatment on the pitch.

90+3: Saevarsson with a cross blocked. Iceland not giving up, when maybe it's better to conserve energy for the Croatia game.

90+1: Six minutes added on, with the injury and the VAR to account for.

90: Header over the Nigeria bar by Ingason. The final change of the game sees Iwobi coming on, with Etebo making way.

89: Nigeria still want another - Ndidi shot blocked by Ingason.

88: Skulason almost helps Iceland get one back, exchanging a one-two with Finbogasson, however his shot is parried away by Uzoho.

87: Gunnarsson ready to take another throw-in but he's taken off, with Ari Skulason on in his place.

87: Ighalo rushes through on goal, but a heavy touch allows Halldorsson to claim the ball.

86: Iceland look for an opening, but Saevarsson's cross is cleared.

85: And he's swiftly taken off. Iheanacho replaced by Ighalo.

84: Musa turns down the chance for more magic outside the box, finding Etebo who sets up Iheanacho. His shot is wide.

83: He was ready to take the penalty before it had even been given, but his attempt to curl it into the top corner goes badly awry. Still 2-0 to the Super Eagles.


81PENALTY ICELAND! Probably the right call.

80: Iceland clinging on here. Gislason tries to bring them forward, and a ball from Saevarsson to Finnbogasson is cut off by Ebuehi. Iceland want a penalty - and here comes VAR... The referee is going to take a look...

78: Etebo looks for a cross in the box, but Gislason blocks to concede a corner.

75: A superb long ball all the way down the left finds Musa, who beats Kari Arnason, runs into the box, forces out Halldorsson, and fires the ball past the two covering defenders to quite possibly seal the game. What a game for the Leicester City outcast.

GOAL NIGERIA!! 2-0. Musa again!

74: An Iheanacho shot is blocked but Iceland don't clear the danger. Musa hits the bar, so unlucky, before Moses puts the rebound over.

72: So close... Iheanacho still on corners but this one is very good - Balogun meets it but heads over.

71: Another change for Iceland - Bodvarsson is replaced by Bjorn Sigurdarson.

70: A corner comes to little for Nigeria, but Mikel crosses it back into the box with William Troost-Ekong heading wide.

69: Etebo given all the space in the world to crack a shot on goal - but it's blocked.

68: Gislason claims the ball up the field, goes it alone, but puts his shot over. At the other end, a Moses shot is blocked.

66: Another chance for Nigeria who are a much better team in this second half. Moses fires over from the right of the box.

65: First substitution for Iceland, with Ragnar Sigurdsson being taken off after that blow to the head. Ingason is on in his place.

63: Looks like it will be Sigurdsson again with the set piece - taken by Uzoho.

62: The game is really opening up. Iceland forward against with Gislason taken out by Ndidi. Worthy of a yellow but, not for the first time in this tournament, the referee is keeping his cards in his pockets.

61: Another good move from the Nigerians, but Iheanacho can't quite find Musa.

60: It doesn't really do the trick - Moses clears the danger from the corner.

59: Iceland go in search of an equaliser - they can't get it into the box but a win a corner, whilst there's a second outing of the game for the thunder clap to inspire them once more.

57: CHANCE! Nigeria passing the ball around before Ndidi strikes from distance. It takes a deflection but Halldorsson is still able to put the ball out. The corner doesn't present any danger.

55: Gylfi Sigurdsson meanwhile tries to break into the box from the right, but loses the ball as he appeals for a handball against the Nigerian defender. The referee shows no interest. It definitely hits Ebuehi's elbow but clearly not intentional.

54: We're finally back underway - we could be in for some lengthy stoppage time later on. Sigurdsson has been bandaged up and is back on the field pretty quickly following the resumption.

52: He seems to have sustained a nasty cut to the head. They'll still sorting him out on the pitch. Sverrir Ingi Ingason is ready to come on if needed.

51: A delay here with Ragnar Sigurdsson getting treatment after getting caught by the follow-through of Omeruo.

A brutal counter attack started by Omeruo's header. Moses on the right wing eventually puts the ball into the box and Musa does brilliantly to control the ball before firing the ball into the back of the net. 1-0 Nigeria.

49: Another long throw from Gunnarsson, cleared well and Nigeria counter... GOAL NIGERIA!!!!

46: The second half is underway. Nigeria have made a change at the break, with Tyronne Ebuehi replacing Idowu following his late yellow card. Etebo meanwhile goes straight down the field, however Halldorsson claims the shot.

Just two shots on target in the first half, both from Iceland, including that early Sigurdsson free-kick. No shots at all from Nigeria. Plenty of games at this World Cup have been 0-0 at the break but none have finished goalless, so hopefully we'll have at least one goal in the second half.

The early signs from this contest were promising, but neither side was able to maintain that early promise and it remains goalless at the break. As it stands, Croatia will win Group D.

HALF TIME. Nigeria 0-0 Iceland.

45+2: Bodvarsson gets a free header on the far side from the corner, looking to put it back in for someone, but instead it sails wide. That'll be that for the half most likely.

45+1: Another good cross from the right from Saevarsson. Again he can't find the man he was looking for in the box but it is a cormenr.

45: Once Conger sorts out the nonsense in the box, Sigurdsson whips it in and it's mightily close to finding someone! Finnbogasson closest to it, might have got a touch but not enough to turn it on goal. Two minutes added on.

44: Booking for Idowu as he collides into Bodvarsson. Iceland with a free-kick.

43: Moses wins another corner for Nigeria, taken on the right by, again, Iheanacho. Sounds like a Roy Hodgson tactic. It goes straight out on the other side of the goal.

42: Musa and Halldorsson chase a loose ball in the Nigeria box, but the former gives away a free-kick after barging into the Iceland goalkeeper.

41: Birkir Bjarnasonn with the ball in the box, cuts back, but no-one is there to test Uzoho. 

39: Final balls just not working out for either side at the moment. After an Iceland attack comes to nothing, Ndidi puts it into the box only for Halldorsson to take.

38: Iheanacho takes it, but Saevarsson heads it clear for a throw. Musa takes that but doesn't provide any danger otherwise.

37: Moses fouled to the right of the Iceland box by Hordur Magnusson. Dangerous this...

36: Saevarsson with a dangerous cross into the box, with Balogun's slight header keeping it away from the two Icelandic players in the box.

34Birkir Saevarsson into the box, brought down but no penalty. Contact was outside in the box in any case. The ball eventually put out wide by his team mate.

31: Etebo takes it, hoping to find someone in the box, but it's overhit and out for a goal kick.

30: A more promising move from Iceland to break out of their lull, but they are unable to get it into the box. Meanwhile, Nigeria have a free-kick just ahead of the centre circle in the Icelandic half.

28: Nothing quite working out for either side at the moment. The heat could be having an effect - especially for Iceland.

26: Nigeria forward again, John Obi Mikel's cross finds no-one though.

25: Omeruo gives away a free-kick which is put into the box by Sigurdsson, with Omeruo himself heading it clear.

22: Uzoho palms away Sigurdsson's corner - only for it to deflect off Moses's forehead to result in another. That one is headed away more certainly by Balogun.

21: It ends up coming back out to Gunnarsson, and Uzoho gets a hand to the ball, before it's put out for a corner off Ndidi.

20: Good work from Sigurdsson gets Iceland forward again, ultimately leading to another Gunnarsson throw.

19: Moses looks to find Ahmed Musa on the edge of the box, but he can't quite reach the ball.

17Wilfred Ndidi is putting in long throws for Nigeria as well, but he can't beat the first man on this occasion.

16: Iheanacho gets on the end of a long ball forward, from the resulting cross it is picked up by Brian Idowu but he is blocked in the box.

14: Another long throw by Gunnarsson, again Nigeria get it away although not as quickly as they might have liked.

13: Nigeria having more of the possession at the moment, although as I type Iceland win it back. Their fans are also in the midst of a thunder clap at the moment, too.

12: Gunnarsson takes a blow to the ribs from Iheanacho, he's quickly back on his feet though.

9: Iheanacho tries to claim a free-kick but nothing doing for the referee Conger.

8: They do get a throw though. Omeruo's header is claimed by Halldorsson.

7Victor Moses wins Nigeria a corner, but the take from Iheanacho doesn't present a scoring chance.

6: Iceland quickly black forward, and Finnbogasson sets up Sigurdsson for another chance but that is also saved by Uzoho, who's being kept busy early on.

5: A Nigerian move breaks down and Iceland counter. Gislason comes together with Leon Balogun as he brings the ball forward, eventually losing his footing and conceding a goal kick.

4: Uzoho is then able to claim that corner without any concerns. Both sets of fans making plenty of noise in the stadium.

3: Iceland keep Nigeria guessing about who will take it, but of course it's Gylfi Sigurdsson. Francis Uzoho puts it out for a corner.

2: An early long throw from Iceland's skipper Aron Gunnarsson. Nigeria are able to repel the danger, however Iceland then get a free-kick in a dangerous position for a push.

1: Nigeria get us underway.

I'm pleased to report that both teams are wearing their home kits for this one. This means a debut appearance at the tournament for what many are calling the best top of the tournament in Nigeria and Nike's jagged effort.

The players are out in Volgograd. The Nigerian anthem has just been completed, and now it's time for Iceland's.

The referee today will be Matt Conger of New Zealand. He'll be assisted by countryman Simon Lount and Tongan Tevita Makasini. Ricardo Montero of Costa Rica will be the fourth official, with Italian Massimiliano Irati leading the VAR team.

Whilst Iceland will be in pole position to go through with Croatia if they win here in Volgograd today, such a result would see Nigeria bow out after just two games. A win for the Super Eagles though puts them into second, but it would probably also give Argentina the best chance of scraping through, with the two playing each other in their final match.

Burnley's Gudmundsson misses out as expected for Iceland, meaning Rurik Gislason of SV Sandhausen starts in his place. Jon Dadi Bodvarsson also starts up front with Emil Hallfredsson dropping out.

The big surprise for Nigeria is Alex Iwobi being left on the bench, having started against Croatia. Shehu Abdullahi and Odion Ighalo also drop out, with Kenneth Omeruo, Ahmed Musa and Iheanacho all starting.

Iceland: (4-4-2) Halldorsson; Saevarsson, Arnason, R. Sigurdsson, Magnusson, Gislason, Gunnarsson, G. Sigurdsson, Bjarnasonn; Bodvarsson, Finnbogason.

Nigeria: (3-5-2) Uzoho; Omeruo, Ekong, Balogun; Moses, Etebo, Mikel, Ndidi, Idowu; Musa, Iheanacho.

Welcome back. I'm James Rees and I'm taking over from Connor for the match itself - thanks to him for his build-up. Anyway, the team news is in...

As for Nigeria, well changes should be expected. Their performance in the defeat to Croatia was pretty lacklustre and not even the introduction of Premier League talents like Kelechi Iheanacho was enough to give them a real foothold in the game.

However, how will they line-up? Iceland could be forced into making one change after Johann Berg Gudmundsson suffered a torn muscle injury during the second-half against Argentina. They are sweating on the fitness of the versatile Burnley man. They will, however, be boosted by the fact that Gylfi Sigurdsson came through the Argentina game unscathed. The Everton midfielder, who is returning to fitness after a nasty knee injury, was able to play the full 90 minutes and even popped up with a trademark assist.

That result means that Iceland have a great chance at progression if they are able to pick up a win over the Super Eagles. 

Last night in Group D, Croatia put Argentina to the sword - leaving the South Americans on the brink of a World Cup group stage exit. Three second-half goals were enough to guide Dalić's men into the last-16.

On the other side of the coin, Nigeria were comfortably beaten by Croatia. The Croatians were in control from the get go and found an opening before half-time after Oghenekaro Etebo, unfortunately, guided the ball into his own net. Zlatko Dalic's men pressed for a second but wasteful efforts saw them wait until the later stages of the game to wrap up the points. Luka Modric stroked home from the penalty spot with less than 20 minutes to go to secure an opening game win for Vatreni.

Heimir Hallgrimsson’s side rode their luck in the second-half with their backs against the wall. They allowed La Albiceleste to rack up 80% possession and over 25 attempts on goal whilst not producing a shot on target in the second-half for themselves. It was that trademark resolute defending that saw them through.

Iceland held out for an unbelievable draw against Argentina. Sergio Aguero opened the scoring for the Argentines but they were pegged back less than five minutes later after Alfred Finnbogason found the net for a historic first World Cup goal for the European minnows. Goalkeeper and hero of the afternoon Hannes Halldorsson, then stopped a second-half Lionel Messi penalty as Jorge Sampaoli’s side looked to turn the screw.

Fast forward back to the present day and both sides are playing from behind the eight ball in this tournament’s ‘Group of Death. Neither of these two sides were able to pick up three points in their opening group game but came through in different circumstances.

Much has changed since the sides last met in their only meeting, back in 1981. Iceland were victorious in a friendly that took place in Reykjavík. The Nordic minnows ran out 3-0 winners.

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live minute-by-minute match coverage and commentary for the World Cup. Today sees Nigeria face off against Iceland at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd. This afternoon's game kicks off at 16:00 GMT, but until then - we'll have plenty of pre-match build-up, analysis and live coverage from Connor Bennett. Make sure you keep up with our updates!