Lionel Messi scored a sumptuous brace as Argentina edged past Nigeria by 3-2 in a thrilling encounter at the Estadio Beira Rio in Port Alegre. The Barcelona star opened the scoring in the third minute with a great strike from inside the box after Angel Di Maria’s fantastic effort came off the post.
Nigeria immediately restored parity just ninety seconds later when Ahmed Musa scored with a brilliant effort, beating Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero with a stunning curling effort. Messi however ensured Argentina would go into the break with their noses in front as his stunning free kick beat Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama deep into the first half injury time.
It was Messi’s third goal from outside the box in the World Cup. The Argentine number ten has now scored four goals in the showpiece event.
Alejandro Sabella’s side continued their perfect record by topping the group and now await either of Ecuador or Switzerland in the round of sixteen.