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Argentina’s dreams of holding the World Cup still alive after Nigeria win, the team reveals they were stressed but confident they would pull through

by Abdullah Hayat

Lionel Messi and Marcus Rojo have kept the dreams of millions of Argentina supporters all over the world alive by scoring against Nigeria.

Argentinan players celebrating their win against Nigeria after the final whistle(Image Source: Instagram/ Marcus Rojo)

Despite Messi scoring a spectacular goal just 14 minutes into the game and the team dominating the first half, Argentina conceded an equalizer from the penalty spot by Nigeria’s Victor Moses in the second half. Things seemed to be going the Nigerians’ way but a late Marcus Rojo half-volley in the 89th minute took his side straight to the Round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup.

Marcus Rojo celebration after scoring the winner against Nigeria (Image Source: Instagram/Gabriel Mercado)

Argentina was under a lot of pressure and criticism from around the world and was facing some internal problems relating to their coach, Jorge Sampaoli. However, the team kept their head in the game and played good quality attacking football.

An emotional Lionel Messi celebrating after defeating Nigeria (Image Source: Instagram/Argentina Fc)

Jorge Sampaoli’s men looked like a completely different team as they triumphed in what seemed to be a nail-biting match for their survival in the 2018 World Cup Finals. They showcased immense team performance but the five time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Barcelona star, Lionel Messi, was named the man of the match. He said he had never suffered as much as he did in his latest match in St. Petersburg, but believed in God as he was with them.

“I knew that God was with us and would not leave us out (of the competition),” Messi said. “I don’t remember having ever suffered so much, because of the situation and because of what was at stake. It was a huge release for all of us.”

Lionel Messi celebrating after scoring the opening goal. (Image source: Instagram/Messi)

“We had been through difficult days because of the result in the previous game, the situation we were in and because of a lot of things that came out. But fortunately, we were able to achieve our objective. We knew we would do so. We didn’t expect to suffer so much but we were confident that we would get through. And thank God it happened,” he added.

The world happily reacted to a confident and strong Argentina side led by none other than Lionel Messi.

Argentine squad celebrating their win against Nigeria after the final whistle. (Image Source: Instagram/ Paulo Dybala)

The internet went crazy when Argentina won but the highlight was Lionel Messi’s goal in the match. Ever Banega drove a beautiful long diagonal ball over and it was perfectly brought down by Messi with the outside of thigh, and then drilled past the young Nigerian goalkeeper Francis Uzoho just 14 minutes into the match.

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