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Messi Brace Leads Argentina Past Nigeria (Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images for Sony)
[ Check out photos from the Group F matchup between Nigeria & Argentina ]
Lionel Messi scored twice as Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2 in another wonderful World Cup match but both teams advanced to the second round after Iran lost to Bosnia in the other Group F game. In an explosive start, Messi lashed in a rebound after three minutes but Nigeria equalised a minute later thanks to a superb finish by Ahmed Musa, only for Messi to curl in a brilliant 20-metre free kick for his fourth of the tournament in first-half stoppage time
In an explosive start, Messi lashed in a rebound after three minutes but Nigeria equalised a minute later thanks to a superb finish by Ahmed Musa, only for Messi to curl in a brilliant 20-metre free kick for his fourth of the tournament in first-half stoppage time.
Musa levelled the score again with a clever finish two minutes into the 2nd half but Argentina, who were assured of qualification before kickoff, got a fortunate third goal eight minutes later when a corner bounced in off the knee of Marcos Rojo.
Messi was substituted after 63 minutes, applauding the raucous supporters as he left the pitch. Argentina finished with nine points from their three wins and will play the Group E runner-up Switzerland. Nigeria finished second on four points and faces France, the Group E winners.
Bosnia ended with three points after beating Iran, who needed to win to have a chance of going through but completed their campaign with one point.
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"Messi Brace Leads Argentina Past Nigeria "