As it happened: Argentina progress into the knockout stages ahead of Nigerian counterparts
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That concludes our coverage for the match, and I hope you have all enjoyed it. Don't forget to check VAVEL for conclusive coverage of all forthcoming FIFA World Cup matches; I've been Jack Groom, and thank you for being with us.

Some are still unsure as to why Marcos Rojo was in the penalty area at all at the time of his winner - however there can be no doubt as to the quality of his finish. It was exceptional technique displayed by the Manchester United defender to volley home - and ultimately it is his quality which has kept his country's hopes alive.

A gallant effort from the Super Eagles, who can count themselves unlucky to have lost tonight thanks to an energetic performance in St Petersburg. Still, the experience of this Argentinian outfit proved too much for the African nation - and it is they who, despite doubts from some quarters heading into the match, will meet France in the next round.

Argentina will meet France in the Last 16 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Full Time: Nigeria 1-2 Argentina

90 + 4' Nigeria have a throw-in deep in their own half.

90 + 3 ' Booking for Lionel Messi.

90 + 2' Substitution for Nigeria: Simeon Nwankwo replaces Ahmed Musa.

90' The fourth official has produced four minutes of additional time.

90' John Obi Mikel picks up a booking.

AS IT STANDS: Argentina will qualify for the Last 16.

87' A cross from the right is met on the volley by Rojo, who smashes home with his weaker right foot from ten yards to give Uzoho no chance. A finish from the central defender that any striker in the world would be delighted with.

86' Marcos Rojo may have saved his country's hopes with a sublime effort!


85' Outstanding tackle from Moses. Banega's diagnonal is greeted by the run of Meza, however when through on goal the Chelsea man produces an inch-perfect tackle to win the ball.

84' Close! Etebo's right-footed free-kick has Armani scrambling, but the ball just avoids the top corner.

84' Otamendi scyths down Ighalo some twenty-five yards out. Free kick to Nigeria.

83' Chance! In on a tight angle, Ahmed Musa can only shoot straight at the goalkeeper.

83' Pavon's attempted short corner is instantly cleared by Nigeria.

82' Etebo bravely blocks the ball behind for a corner.

81' Chance! An opportunity goes begging for Gonzalo Higuain! A low ball in from the left finds its way to the onrushing Higuain, yet unmarked from ten-yards out the experienced striker can only smash over the bar. A massive chance for Argentina.

80' Substitution for Argentina: Sergio Aguero takes the place of left-back Nicolas Tagliafico.

79' Chance! A ball into the box by Tagliafico misses everybody, and Nigeria clear.

77' VAR Penalty Review: Musa's cross in was headed against his own arm by Rojo in the box, however the referee adjudges it to be unintentional and so the penalty is not given via review.

76' Huge chance! Ighalo is the beneficiary of a Musa ball in-behind the defence, however with only the goalkeeper to beat from ten-yards out he scuffs his shot wide.

75' Pavon does extremely well to keep the ball in on the byline and hold off Omeruo. His pass back to Mercado sees a ball whipped in and headed away for a corner.

73' Crucial challenge from Moses on Tagliafico snuffs out an attack in the Nigerian penalty area.

72' Substitution for Argentina: Maximilliano Meza comes on for Angel Di Maria.

71' Close! Musa again beats a defender on the touchline and plays the ball inside to Ndidi who - following a clever Ighalo dummy - sends the ball whizzing just over the crossbar with a powerful strike from twenty-five yards.

68' Soft-looking free-kick for an aerial Ndidi challenge on Banega in the centre-circle.

66' A whipped Pavon cross from the right-hand side is easily claimed by Uzoho in goal.

65' Banega booked for a foul in the centre-circle.

64' Electric run from Pavon sees him beat Idowu, and the left-back's attempt to bring down the winger is waved away by the referee.

62' Almost an instant impact from the substitute Pavon as he stretches his fresh legs to win a corner for his country. However, the dead-ball is given away.

60' Substitution for Argentina: Cristian Pavon replaces Enzo Perez.

60' A searching pass for Di Maria from Otamendi is over-hit, and the ball rolls out for a goal-kick.

59' A sublime piece of skill from Musa sees two defenders left for dead as he gets to the byline. His cross fails to pick out a Nigerian forward, however.

58' Having stuck to Messi like a rash since the restart, Etubo gets too close for the referee's liking and a free-kick is awarded - which Messi almost instantly gives away.

57' A dangerous in-swinging right-footed Banega cross is headed away well by Omeruo in the penalty area.

56' The hoards of Argentinian fans immediately respond to their setback as they seek to encourage their team via increasing their noise.

AS IT STANDS: Nigeria go through and Argentina are out.

55' Elsewhere in Group D, Croatia go into the lead against Iceland.

54' Ighalo's run at Mercado sees the full-back go to ground, but he just gets his toe on the ball to put it out for a corner - a corner which came to nothing.

52' Almost instantly from kick-off, Argentina play a diagonal over the head of the goalscorer Moses to play in Di Maria. The former Manchester United man throws himself the floor, however the referee sees through his attempt to win a penalty of his own.

51' Cool as you like, Moses trots up to the ball before side-footing the ball into the side vacated following Armani's commitment to his right-hand side.


49' As the corner came into the box, Mascherano was holding Balogun - and despite a VAR referral, the decision stands. Victor Moses to take for the Super Eagles.


48' The dead ball was headed out for a throw-in, and following Musa's throw the ball went out for a corner.

48' Nigerian free-kick near the halfway line for a Rojo foul on Ighalo.

46' We're back underway in Saint Petersburg.

Substitution for Nigeria: Odion Ighalo has replaced Kelechi Iheanacho. 

Unsurprisingly, Messi's goal is being shown over-and-over during the break. Three sublime touches: initial deft control with his left thigh; the second touch to take it away from the defender; an unstoppable shot into the far corner across the goalkeeper.

HALF-TIME: Nigeria 0-1 Argentina (Messi 14)

45 + 2' Musa drops the shoulder to get away from Mercado down the left-hand side, but the right-back unceremoniously hacks down the forward. Free-kick comes to nothing.

45' The fourth official indicates there will be a minimum of two additional minutes.

45' A spinning, looping deflected cross sees the ball go towards Marcos Rojo and Iheanacho, with the former clearing the ball from danger. A Musa shot is then blocked by two flying Argentinian bodies from the second phase.

41' A hopeful Iheanacho ball sees Musa chase the pass all the way towards the goal-line, and his pressure causes a misunderstanding between Armani and Otamendi as the goalkeeper eventually puts the ball out for a throw-in.

36' A lofted free-kick into the Argentinian penalty area sees Omeruo get his head to it, however the ball floats harmlessly into the arms of Armani.

35' Replays show that the nineteen -year-old stopper got the faintest of touches on Messi's attempt - a crucial finger-tip save.

34' Post! Messi's free-kick beats the goalkeeper to his left-hand side - however hits the post and rebounds out.

32' Booking for Balogun as he trips Di Maria whilst the attacker is running through on goal from a ball over the top. The presence of Omeruo appears to  have prevented the Brighton and Hove Albion defender from seeing red. Free-kick to Argentina, twenty yards out and left of centre.

28' Chance! Messi plays an inch-perfect defence-splitting pass into the run of Gonzalo Higuain, however Uzoho is out quickly in the Nigerian goal to smother the danger and beat the frontman to the ball. 

27' Statistics show that Sampaoli's men have bossed the opening stages. 67% possession and 60 more passes than their African opponents.

AS IT STANDS: Argentina will play France in the Last 16.

23' Nigeria's Leon Balogun steps out of defence with the ball and sees himself chasing a through ball down towards the corner flag. A shove in the back from Mascherano goes unpunished on the centre half - despite Balogun's protestations.

20' Argentina defend the corner with ease, and upon a counter attack of their own Di Maria is taken down by Etebo just inside the Argentinian half.

18' Di Maria's free kick is too high for everybody, however the referee awards a free-kick to Nigeria who quickly break and win a corner.

17' Di Maria hacked down on the touchline. Free-kick to Argentina from near  the left-hand corner flag of which the Paris Saint-Germain man is to take.

15' A run from Messi is picked out by Banega over the top, and the Argentina captain takes the ball down superbly to go clean through on goal and smash the  ball over the advancing Francis Uzoho to put his side into the ascendancy.


11' Cross in from Gabriel Mercado on the right-hand side is well headed away by Kenneth Omeruo in the penalty area.

10' First sign of Messi's piercing ability ends up in a blocked cross from the Barcelona man from the left-hand side.

8' Some neat Argentinian play sees Ever Benega play in Nicolas Tagliafico, but the left-back can't keep his shot down following pressure from two defenders.

7' Strong run from Oghenekaro Etebo beats two midfielders before drawing a crucial block from Nicolas Otamendi twenty yards out. Upon regain of possession, Messi draws a foul in the centre circle.

5' Several hopeful Argentinian balls into the channels, yet none bare fruition. Di Maria caught offside following an attempted through ball.

2' Argentina starting with more of the ball, and Lionel Messi has his first touch of the night - but his attempted pass to Angel Di Maria on the right flank goes out for a throw-in.

0' Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir blows his whistle and Nigeria get us underway in their dark green strip.

18:54. The teams enter the pitch at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, and so commence the national anthems of both nations - starting with Nigeria.

18:50. For Argentina, things are looking much more precarious. The historic footballing nation will crash out of the competition if they lose tonight, and if so will become the first side to represent the South American nation to fail to collect three points in the biggest tournament of them all since 1934.  If they do come out on top tonight then they must hope that Iceland do not collect three points also if they are to move to the knockout stages.

18:48. What are the permutations for both teams tonight? For Nigeria it is simple: win, and they go through. They can still progress with a draw, however they will rely upon Iceland failing to beat Croatia in their match.

18:31. As for under-pressure Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli, he has wielded the axe following their dismal 0-3 defeat to Croatia and made five changes. Goalkeeper France Armani has replaced Willy Caballero, whilst Marcos Rojo comes in for Eduardo Salvio as they change from a 3-4-3 to a 4-4-2. Angel Di Maria and Ever Banega take the places of Marcos Acuna and Maximilliano Meza in the middle of the park, and finally, Gonzalo Higuain is brought in in favour of Sergio Aguero - and the Juventus forward will hope to break a twenty-month international goal drought in the process. Their full team can be seen here (4-4-2): Armani; Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico; Banega, Mascherano, Perez, Di Maria; Higuain, Messi

18:28. So, in what will be the last game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup for at least one of these sides the thought processes of both managers could not be more different heading into the clash. Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr has named the same starting line-up that defeated Iceland 2-0 last time out. A reminder of their team here (3-5-2): Uzoho; Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Omeruo; Moses, Ndidi, Etebo, Obi Mikel, Idowu; Iheanacho, Musa.

18:04. Nigeria XI: Uzoho, Idowu, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Omeruo, Ndidi, Etebo, Obi Mikel, Musa, Moses, Iheanacho

18:03. Argentina XI : Armani, Mercado, Tagliafico, Mascherano, Rojo, Otamendi, Banega, Di Maria, Perez, Higuain, Messi

16:57. With Denmark and France playing out a nil-nil draw and Peru overcoming Australia 2-0 in today's Group C Matches, it means that should Nigeria or Argentina go through then they will be taking on Didier Deschamps' men in the first knockout round.

11:30. They were then pegged back by Musa's second of the afternoon before a late Marcos Rojo goal snatched the points for the South American side.

11:20. Lionel Messi found the net twice for his nation before being matched by the all too dangerous Musa. Messi showcased the genius which cemented him as the Golden Ball winner for that tournament with a first-half free-kick to give Argentina their second lead of the afternoon that left Nigerian 'keeper Vincent Enyeama running across his goal line to no avail. 

11:12. Nigeria and Argentina met in a group game in the 2002 edition of the tournament, with a Gabriel Batistuta goal giving La Albiceleste the three points. They met again in 2010. Gabriel Heinze scored the only goal for the Argentine's before the two side met again in a burn burning encounter in the 2014 World Cup. 

11:00. Nigeria and Argentina seemingly meet at every World Cup and especially in the group stages. 

Nigeria vs Argentina Live Score

10:30. Salisu Yusuf could name an unchanged Nigeria side but will have to assess the fitness of full-back Bryan Idowu after he was substituted at half-time in the win over Iceland. 

10:23. For Nigeria, the defeat to Croatia may have been expected but the victory over Iceland was certainly a welcome one. Ahmed Musa's brilliant brace showed just how the Iceland back line could be exploited but it will also provide a warning for Argentina on just how lethal the Super Eagles can be on the break.

11:10. After his disastrous clanger set Argentina on their way to defeat, it looks like Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero will be dropped and replaced by 31-year-old Franco Armani. The River Plate 'keeper has impressed for Las Gallinas and there had been plenty of shouts for him to begin the gloves from the start of the tournament after first-choice 'keeper Sergio Romero was ruled out through injury.  

11:05. Wholesale changes could be expected as Sampaoli plays one last desperate roll of the dice to spark some life into his side. Angel Di Maria should be recalled to the starting line-up whilst Gonzalo Higuain looks set to be preferred to Sergio Aguero up-front. There are also suggestions that Ever Banega and Giovani Lo Celso could be the men to flank Mascherano in the heart of midfield. 

11:00. There has been talk of mutiny in Jorge Sampaoli's squad but veteran midfielder Javier Mascherano rubbished that talk in the pre-match press conference. There should be changes from the defeat to Croatia but just how many, well, that's up for debate. 

10:45. Well, where do you start? This tournament certainly hasn't gone how Argentina expected it to and find themselves on the brink of elimination rather than progress. A frustrating opening game draw with Iceland was followed by a shambolic defeat to Croatia and now one of the pre-tournament favourites are staring down a trip home rather than an extended stay in Russia

10:30. Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's Nigeria vs Argentina Live minute-by-minute match coverage and commentary for the World Cup. Today sees Argentina face off against Nigeria at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg. This evening's game kicks off at 19:00 GMT, but until then - we'll have plenty of pre-match build-up and analysis from Connor Bennett before live coverage with Jack Groom. Make sure you keep up with our updates!