Nigeria defeats Iceland by two goals to nothing to move closer to qualification into the next round

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It was an evening  to remember for fans of the super eagles who went into a frenzy following their victory over the smallest nation at the World Cup.
Nigeria looked so sluggish in its opening loss to Croatia, and started slowly in this game too. Iceland had the better of the first half, getting six shots to Nigeria’s zero. But Nigeria stuck with its patient passing game, and it paid off in a far superior second half.
In the 49th minute, Musa nearly got a second when his shot caromed off the top bar. Then a moment later, in the 75th minute, he latched onto a long ball, beat a defender and then the keeper, and poked the ball into an unguarded net.

“I have to thank my teammates and the coach who believed in me,” Musa said after the match. “We have to focus on the last game because that’s more important than today’s win.”

With eight minutes to go, Iceland seemed to have earned a chance to close the gap. When Alfred Finnbogason of Iceland was brought down with a whack on the calf from behind, there was initially no call. But a video review determined that it was a penalty.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was elected to take it, and he aimed for the top corner. But it sailed comfortably over the bar, ending Iceland’s hopes.Victor Moses raced down the sideline and sent a cross into the box for Ahmed Musa. He controlled it nicely with his first touch, then used his second to slam it home.

Croatia is now safely through to the next round from Group D. But the second spot is up for grabs.

Some of the happiest viewers of Friday’s game had to be the Argentine team. Had Iceland won, it would have been in a terrible spot to advance. Now it has a chance.

It was an evening  to remember for fans of the super eagles who went into a frenzy following their victory over the smallest nation at the World Cup.
Nigeria looked so sluggish in its opening loss to Croatia, and started slowly in this game too. Iceland had the better of the first half, getting six shots to Nigeria’s zero. But Nigeria stuck with its patient passing game, and it paid off in a far superior second half.
In the 49th minute, Musa nearly got a second when his shot caromed off the top bar. Then a moment later, in the 75th minute, he latched onto a long ball, beat a defender and then the keeper, and poked the ball into an unguarded net.

“I have to thank my teammates and the coach who believed in me,” Musa said after the match. “We have to focus on the last game because that’s more important than today’s win.”

With eight minutes to go, Iceland seemed to have earned a chance to close the gap. When Alfred Finnbogason of Iceland was brought down with a whack on the calf from behind, there was initially no call. But a video review determined that it was a penalty.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was elected to take it, and he aimed for the top corner. But it sailed comfortably over the bar, ending Iceland’s hopes.Victor Moses raced down the sideline and sent a cross into the box for Ahmed Musa. He controlled it nicely with his first touch, then used his second to slam it home.

Croatia is now safely through to the next round from Group D. But the second spot is up for grabs.

Some of the happiest viewers of Friday’s game had to be the Argentine team. Had Iceland won, it would have been in a terrible spot to advance. Now it has a chance.

Source: Nytimes; Photo Credit: Evening Standard

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