Mikel scores when he wants
Mikel scores when he wants

Argentina had a bit of a helping hand today as close to 100,000 of their supporters flooded Porto Alegre, filled the fans parks and the stadium in blue and white stripes.
Both sides could settle for a dull-all game and go through – both exploded out of the blocks like it was win or bust and made the first hour of the clash a thriller.
Lionel Messi opened the scoring in the third minute as he thrashed in the rebound from Angel di Maria’s shot. That the original shot took two bounces off the post seemed to presage an entertaining game.
Nigeria didn’t look to the shell and, as Argentina didn’t look ot their defence, Ahmed Musa took a defence splitting pass turned inside Pablo Zabaleta and fired Nigeria level a minute later.
Obi John Mikel and Kenneth Omeruo were both stretched in trying to keep the Argentine tide at bay but Nigeria never looked panicked and Ken in particular stood out for his heaven-sent combination of speed and good positioning.
Messi scored again from a free-kick but Nigeria waited only as long as the half-time interval to hit back again through Musa, this time breaking through the middle of a static defence.
Argentina’s winner was shinned in from a corner and didn’t deserve to separate these two who both progress as Iran lost their must win match against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Kenneth Omeruo hasn’t yet pulled on a Chelsea shirt having done the loan circuit in the Netherlands and the smog of the Tees but he really looks the finished article. He will cherish one moment as he chased down Lionel Messi and beat his to the ball as the Barcelona striker looked for his hat-trick.
Messi was withdrawn on the hour and Michael Babatunde retired hurt (with a suspected broken wrist) and the match drifted off towards the end.
This World Cup has produced some cracking games and it will have to go some to beat this for entertainment.

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