Musa the hero as eagles melt iceland 2-0

Hope Soto
June 27, 2018

Nigeria beat Iceland 2-0 to revive their hopes of advancing into the knockout stages of the World Cup in Russian Federation on Friday as striker Ahmed Musa dramatically marked his return to the team with two fine second-half goals.

Aron Gunnarsson's long throw-ins have been a distinguished feature of the Icelandic game-plan, rising to eminence in Euro 2016, where England felt the full force of its execution, but today it cost them the match.

Despite defeat, Iceland still has a chance, albeit slim, of progressing but beating a Croatian team which has already confidently beaten Argentina and Nigeria will be an onerous task.

Gylfi Sigurdsson skied a VAR-confirmed penalty kick with 10 minutes to go, and Iceland could not recover, staying on a point with Argentina.

The last two games in Group D take place on Tuesday at the same time - 19:00 BST.

Nigeria must avoid defeat Argentina in their last group match on Tuesday to qualify from the group.

Two delightful goals from the impressive Ahmed Musa secured Nigeria a first victory of the tournament and diminished Iceland's chances of making it into the last 16.

Iceland were pressuring Nigeria towards the 65th minute as they went in search for an equaliser, but they lacked quality in the final third. Iceland also absolutely must win, and then hope Nigeria-Argentina ends in a draw or an Argentina win, which would again leave qualification depending on goal difference.

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Nigeria's next opponent is Argentina and Musa has played well against them before.

Iceland claimed a point in their first ever World Cup clash against Argentina.

The Super Eagles' coach Gernot Rohr sent on Tyronne Ebuehi for fellow defender Brian Idowu during the interval and his side made a flying start to the second half.

With Musa being joined by Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho in the Super Eagles' starting XI, it was also the first time that three City players have started for one team in the competition.

But Iceland nearly took the lead in the last minute of the first half, Alfred Finnbogason unable to get a decisive touch on Gylfi Sigurdsson's unsafe free-kick delivered from the right wing. The Everton player's profligacy summed up Iceland's day.

From there, Nigeria were brilliant, as they attacked with pace, precision and penetration; they looked a genuine threat going forward, while in midfield there was a lot more balance and cohesion.

"We only need to win (over) Croatia, but that might be easier said than done", Hallgrimsson said.

Nigeria tried going toe to toe with Croatia in their opening game with a 4-2-3-1 formation, but ended up being overmatched.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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