Argentina vs Nigeria
Diego Maradona has been treated by paramedics following Argentina’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup.
The 57-year-old could be seen being helped from his seat at the St Petersburg Stadium, before collapsing into a chair inside the stadium.
today Argentina vs Nigeria
“For nearly two years, one of the world’s great soccer powers had been largely missing in action. The team stumbled through qualifying and appeared lost in its first two matches in Russia, a disappointing draw with tiny Iceland and a thorough beating from Croatia.
Then Tuesday night happened. Here, for all but a handful of minutes, was the Argentina with the unstoppable striker, the stifling midfield, and the lightning quick attacks, all of which combined to deliver a thrilling 2-1 win over Nigeria on a night when there was no margin for error.” nywtimes
“Our players play with their heart,” the embattled Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said. “They are true rebels.”
The Nigerians collapsed to the turf. A draw would have sent them through, and referee Cuneyt Cakir of Turkey very nearly handed them a second penalty kick late in the second half. It would have provided a golden opportunity for a goal that would have almost guaranteed them advancement. Instead, they ended up standing in shock on the sideline, staring at Argentina celebrating.
“We did everything we could,” said Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel. “In the second half we pushed and pushed. We got the goal, we played well. It just wasn’t to be.”
Messi, whose heroics in the final game of qualifying saved Argentina last fall, scored in the 14th minute. The goal appeared to wake Argentina from its Russian stupor. The Barcelona star had been shut out in the first two games, even missing a penalty kick against Iceland. Cutting through Nigeria’s defense, he collected Ever Banega’s perfect ball from the midfield line, letting it deflect off his thigh before he fired his shot inside the far post.
It was a moment of relief as much as it was delirium for the t