In a 3-2 Loss to Argentina, the Green Eagles of Nigeria moved onto the second round of the World Cup in Brazil. The Group F teams finished all their matches and left Argentina with 9 points, Nigeria with 4 points, Bosnia with 3 and Iran with 1.
Nigeria final match at Beira Rio stadium was as close as Argentine will come to a home game at this World Cup as an estimated 150,000 fans flooded across the border into this southern port city looking to get in on the party.
Although Argentina was guaranteed a place in the last 16, the twice champions still had plenty to play for on a drizzly day with top spot up for grabs and the soccer world waiting for the Sky Blues to flash their championship credentials after uninspiring wins over debutants Bosnia and unfancied Iran.
Nigeria entered the contest as the only team which had yet to concede a goal but had not faced a side with the attacking quality of Argentina, who immediately put the Super Eagles under pressure.
Boasting one of the most intimidating attacking formations in the business with Messi, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain, Argentina had managed just three goals in two matches.
But the “Fab Four” were on song against Nigeria, with a dominating attacking display led by Messi, who struck twice in the opening half and looked dangerous throughout.
Argentina’s brilliance on the attack was offset by shaky defence as Nigeria’s Ahmed Musa twice cancelled out Messi goals with neat finishes in the fourth and 47th minutes.
The Argentine crowd was stunned when Musa scored just after half-time but were quickly back on their feet celebrating three minutes later when a charging Marcos Rojo stabbed home a bouncing ball from close range.