2018 FIFA WC: Argentina and Croatia win to reach knockout stage

Moscow, Russia (PANA) - Argentina and Croatia beat Nigeria and Iceland respectively in their last Group D matches in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia on Tuesday to reach the knockout stage.

Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1 while Croatia also beat Iceland 2-1. Croatia will face Denmark while France will meet Argentina in the Round of 16.

Argentina, with all their stars led by Lionel Messi, were only a few minutes from being eliminated by Nigeria as Messi's 14th minute strike was cancelled in the 51st minute by Victor Moses' beautifully converted penalty that was taken after VAR confirmed the decision by the referee.

The 1-1 scoreline at the time was enough for Nigeria to ease past Argentina into second place in the table after Croatia. But Marcos Rojo rose to the occasion at the Saint Petersburg Stadium when his goal in the 86th minute secured the second place for the South American country.

In the other Group D match at Rostoc Arena, Milan Badelj (53th minute) and Ivan Perisic (90th minute) scored for Croatia while Gylfi Sigurdsson (76th penalty) scored for Iceland.

Nigeria thus become the third African country after Egypt and Morocco to fall at the first hurdle in two days.

They join Tunisia who have already been eliminated in Group G before their final match as they have lost both matches. Only Senegal, with 4 points, have a chance of reaching the Round of 16, as they are second in Group H after Japan (also 4 points). But the Teranga Lions have a tough game against Colombia who are third with 3 points. Poland with no point are fourth in the table.

Final standings
Croatia 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
Argentina 3 1 1 1 3 5 -2 4
Nigeria 3 1 0 2 3 4 -1 3
Iceland 3 0 1 2 2 5 -3 1
-0- PANA MA 26June2018

26 june 2018 20:37:35

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