Live Update: Argentina 2 – 4 Nigeria

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Nigeria and Argentina played each other in the 2014, 2010, 2002 and 1994 World Cups with the Argentines winning every one of those meetings by a single goal.

Get information of the live update from the pre-World Cup friendly between Nigeria and Argentina below; 

72′ Nigeria are sitting deep again and there’s no way through for Argentina. The absence of Dybala linking the play will not help Sampaoli’s side as they chase the game.

70′ SUB! Iheanacho has turned this game on its head and now he makes way for club team-mate Ahmed Musa.

69′ Another Argentina corner, another tame header wide. This time it’s Otamendi nodded across the face of goal.

68’A chance of sorts for Perez. The corner is volleyed back in after a half-clearance and the Argentine challenges to nod wide.

67′ Meanwhile the referee has a word with Sampaoli, who is marching up and down the touch line with little regard for his technical area.

67′ Corner to Argentina as Omeruo clumsily chests Di Maria’s cross behind…

66′ This Nigeria side have been brilliant in the second half! They dive into block after block, crucially directing a Banega shot away, and then Iheanacho’s crossfield ball sets up Iwobi for the counter. The return pass is poor and momentum slows, but Iheanacho continues to show his class.

65′ And Nigeria nearly counter again before Otamendi steps in to halt Iheanacho. What a battle that has been!

64′ Argentina are enjoying possession again, but the chances just are not falling.


63’SUB! Dybala bows out now as veteran Belluschi is introduced.

62’Otamendi continues to be one of Argentina’s more effective players on the ball, which says a lot. Banega may have found the net, but his influence has waned after a bright start.

61′ SUB! Balogun makes way for Kenneth Omeruo as Nigeria switch up the defence.

60′  Nigeria are still giving the ball away cheaply in attack – Iwobi continues to be at fault – but it matters far less when they have the lead. There is a confidence about the side now.

59′ SAVE! This may be a friendly, but Argentina need to save face – and don’t Nigeria know it. They continue to counter whenever Sampaoli’s men attack and the latest move concluded with Iheanacho flicking towards goal. Marchesin saves.

58′ SUB! Lo Celso has been quiet today and he makes way for Alejandro Gomez.
57′
Benedetto seeks an instant response at the other end but, after working room on the right side of the area, he dallies too long and is closed out.
57′
If Iheanacho dealt a blow to Otamendi’s face in the first half, it’s the Argentine’s ego that is being damaged now. The Nigeria front man is tearing through at will, this time just coming up short as he ran at the last man.
56′
Argentina need to regain their stride here. They have been blown away by the African outfit.
54′
Iheanacho has been at the centre of everything – good and bad – today, providing another assist here. Sampaoli will not be best pleased…
54′
GOAL! Incredible! Nigeria are ahead, from two down! Idowu gets the goal, calmly curling into the corner from Iheanacho’s lay-off. What a start to the second half this has been. 2-3.
52′
Iheanacho, the scorer of the first, fed his strike partner for that second. Who could have seen this comeback at 2-0? Sensational from Nigeria.
52′
GOAL! Iwobi has been below par today, but now he’s fired the leveller! It’s a beautiful placed effort into the bottom-left corner, leaving the goalkeeper with little chance. 2-2.
51′
Ouch! The theme of injuries from the first half continues as Perez appears to take Iheanacho’s knee in the face inadvertently. He’s quickly back on his feet, though.
51′
Nigeria force a corner on the right and it reaches Ndidi at the far post, but his downwards header falls some way wide of the left-hand post.
47′
Di Maria trades passes with Dybala on the left corner of the box, but the former’s cross is too deep for Benedetto and Uzoho collects with ease.
46′
Wonderful defending by Otamendi! Iheanacho’s touch is too good to stop the Leicester City man, but the Argentine defender simply tracks his run and then steps in when Iwobi takes over.
46′
KICK-OFF: Away we go with Nigeria getting us restarted.
46′
SUB! Francis Uzoho replaces Akpeyi, after his first-half mistake.
46′
SUB! Ola Aina, the opposite wing-back, is also off as Brian Idowu comes in.
46′
SUB! Shehu was injured in the first half and he has not reemerged, with Tyronne Ebuehi coming on.
46′
SUB! Aguero will not add to his tally as Dario Benedetto comes on.

Here come the Argentina players, making their way back out onto the pitch… And now follow the Nigerians.

We’ll bring you the second half action shortly, where hopefully substitutions will not slow the pace of a fairly frantic game.

Well, after a slow start, that was entertaining. A horrific Akpeyi error led to the first goal with the first effort of note on 27 minutes, Banega firing a free-kick into the corner. Aguero added a second, but Nigeria have a goal of their own now through Iheanacho.
45+2′
HALF-TIME: Argentina 2 Nigeria 1.
45+1′
SAVE! Now Nigeria have a real energy about them! Ndidi fires hard and low from inside the area and Marchesin saves well. The Super Eagles are ending the half on top.
44′
GOAL! Iheanacho with a beauty! Nigeria have not had a sniff, but their star forward curls the free-kick over the wall and Agustin Marchesin can only help the shot into the top corner. Game on? 2-1.
44′
Free-kick to Nigeria right on the edge of the area… They’re a little fortunate as Mikel’s lay-off to Iwobi was a poor one, but Mascherano’s foul on the Arsenal man sees the referee bring play back.
42′
Dybala has not yet troubled the scoresheet, but he has been the standout performer of this first half. Nigerian defenders are struggling to take the ball from the Juve forward, with Ola Aina the latest to commit a foul as he attempts to.
41′
The delivery is cleared, but only as far as Dybala who wriggles free and keeps possession for Argentina. The South American outfit are well on top.
41′
And the Paris-Saint Germain midfielder has now won a corner from a similar centre…
40′
The difference between the two sides is evident in one move. Ndidi delays making an incisive pass, turning back and then losing the ball. Argentina counter through Dybala and Aguero, with Di Maria ultimately delivering a dangerous low cross from the left.
38′
Argentina are playing with a real urgency and Nigeria have struggled to keep them in check since falling behind. This is all one-way traffic.
36′
It was Pavon who laid on that goal for Aguero, taking a pass on the right and delivering across goal.
36′
GOAL! Argentina are two up and it’s Aguero! He is left with the simplest of finishes in front of goal. So easy. 2-0.
34′
Sampaoli has been every bit as animated as usual so far, despite this being just a friendly with two weakened teams. There were fistpumps to celebrate the goal and then visible frustration as Lo Celso wasted that opportunity.
33′
Shehu looks to have picked up a knock in a challenge with Aguero in that attack and he receives treatment before the game continues.
32′
Forward they come again! Di Maria and Aguero combine, before Giovani Lo Celso wastefully crosses behind.
31′
CLOSE! Argentina are really on top now! Akpeyi smothers one effort from Enzo Perez on the left but concedes a corner, from which Otamendi arrows a header just wide.
28′
Pavon gets in on the right as Argentina chase a quick second, but Akpeyi reads his low cross and intercepts.
27′
GOAL! Banega finds the net! What a costly error. There’s no booking for the goalkeeper, but his punishment is seeing the Argentina midfielder curl an effort into the bottom-right corner. 1-0.
27′
Oh dear, oh dear… Akpeyi seemingly misjudges the position of both Aguero and the ball as it lies at his feet and he stretches outside the area to pick it up as the Argentina forward advances. A free-kick is given and Aguero is frustrated as the goalkeeper prevents a quick dispatch.
25′
The two teams continue to gift possession to each other. The lack of opportunities so far owes much to the sides’ wastefulness.
23′
That should have been it! Pavon is picked out and crosses first-time on the volley from the right. Di Maria misses his kick and Chidozie Awaziem then vitally intercepts in front of Aguero. Both Di Maria and Aguero are left writhing in pain. More stoppages…
22′ Nigeria steal the ball in a promising position on the left but, again, their front two cannot link up in the area. We are still waiting on a first real chance.

21′ Di Maria accelerates away on the left again, but it’s Aguero’s heavy touch that brings an end to the attack this time. Frustration for Sampaoli’s men.

20′ Again the delivery is poor, but the ball is worked back out to Di Maria on the left. He skips by a pair of challenges and crosses, only for an attacking Argentine player to concede an aerial foul. There’s no flow to the game right now.

19′ ndeed, Otamendi is back on and he is immediately involved, winning a free-kick from Ndidi in a dangerous area…

17′ YELLOW! Referee Vladislav Bezborodov appeared to assess the damage before handing a booking to Iheanacho. Otamendi looks to be able to continue.

17′ It was not a nice challenge from Iheanacho, with Otamendi now receiving treatment. He certainly took his opportunity to dish out a response, though.


16′  Otamendi is not at all happy with Iheanacho, his former Manchester City team-mate. The Argentine defender wins a free-kick as he is caught by the forward’s elbow, gets up to shove Iheanacho away and then returns to lying on the ground in pain. Truly bizarre.

15′ Finally the cross comes in again – the corner taken short to Dybala first – but Nigeria clear with ease.

13′ The set-piece comes in and Leon Balogun clears, but the ball looks to have struck the defender right on the top of the head. He’s down receiving treatment.

12′ Pavon wins a corner. Johan Ogu concedes possession in the middle of the pitch and Argentina switch the ball to Mascherano, whose long pass picks out Pavon. A shot from an awkward angle deflects behind.

11’Nigeria are growing into the game with some neat passing in the midfield, but Iwobi has been the cause of a couple of failed attacks so far. He’s made a slow start.

10′ Otamendi charges forward on the left, but Nigeria’s green wall forces Argentina back. They instead attack on the opposite wing until Pavon blazes a cross out for a throw-in on the far side.

8′ Dybala opens up space in the Nigeria half with a lovely first touch, but his searching pass does not reach Pavon. William Troost-Ekong steps across to intercept.

7′ There have been a couple of niggly fouls from either side in the last 60 seconds as the game continues to find its rhythm.

6′ Nigeria are looking to use their pace in behind. Kelechi Iheanacho runs through onto a pass but a difficult angle and lack of support means he must turn back. Alex Iwobi loses possession.

5′ Almost a chance for Dybala! He links up with Aguero, who squeezes a pass into the box at the second attempt, but the Juventus man is crowded out as he switches back onto his left foot. An attempted shot bobbles through for Daniel Akpeyi to collect.

4′ Mikel plays a wonderful ball through to Abdullahi Shehu, advancing on the right flank, but his first touch is heavy and he fouls Nicolas Otamendi as he stretches to make amends.

3′  A very tight offside call against Cristian Pavon halts an Argentine attack on the right. Nigeria can regroup.

2′ And when the Super Eagles do finally win possession, Mikel is swarmed by three players and loses out. Ever Banega is pulling the strings early on.

1′ And Argentina keep the ball with some ease for the opening minute. Nigeria are yet to touch the ball.

1′  KICK-OFF: Argentina’s Aguero gets the game under way!

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