NIGERIA VS ARGENTINA: Get Set For The Big Showdown

Nigeria      Vs     Argentina (Star Game)
Date: 25 June 2014
Time: 17:00 GMT+ (5pm)
Stadium Capacity: Estadio Beira-Rio 56,000

Post Match Review – Nigeria Vs Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Indeed, just the way I predicted in the pre-match analysis that any of the teams that got an early goal would likely try and defend it. Well, Nigeria got lucky in two ways.

First, the Referee Peter O’leary disallowed what should have been Bosnia’s first goal. The play back track showed that the referee and his linesman erroneously blew the whistle for an offside against Bosnia’s Edin Dzeko’s goal.

Second, Nigeria was the first to score at 37 minutes, when Emmanuel Emernike muscled his way pass the Bosnia’s defender and laid a low level cross for Osaze Odenwingie’s goal. That was it and the defending began.

Second half of the match saw Super Eagles defending deep and cautiously going for counter-attacks. Emernike tried few other times to muscle pass the Bosnia captain, Emir Spahic, who was actually finding it difficult to tame down the bullish Nigerian striker. Bosnia’s goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic, had to work extra hard to stop the Nigerian team from scoring more goals.

At the end, it was 1 – 0 against Bosnia. Nigeria got the 3 points, which placed them second on Group F table with 4 points. You could recall that Nigeria drew 1 – 1 against Iran in their first group match, which got them the previous 1 point.

Preview of Group F Final Games:
As it is, Argentina had already qualified for the second round. Alejandro Sabella’s team currently top Group F table with 6 points and a final game against Nigeria. Argentina defeated Bosnia 2 – 1 and Iran 1 – 0 to get to the top of the Group table.

Nigeria is placed second of Group F table and if I may say, Stephen Keshi’s boys have their qualification in their hands!  Nigeria needs just a draw against Argentina to put their qualification for beyond Iran. And if Nigeria defeats Argentina, then the Africa champions will top Group F.

On the other hand, Iran needs to win against Bosnia to bring back it’s world cup hopes. Anything draw will see the Persian lions out of the tournament along side Bosnia, whose players had already packed their bags, ready to go home.

Nigeria Vs Argentina – the Big Show-down:
It’ll not be a matter of qualification for Argentina, rather it’ll be for the pride of the country. Nigeria and Argentina has been a long time foe in football, both at the world cup, Olympics and other age group tournaments.

The two countries met last at 2010 World cup in South Africa, where Argentina narrowly defeated Nigeria by 1 – 0. This fixture is once again an opportunity for Nigeria to revenge that defeat and perhaps, that of world youth championship in 2005, where both Lionel Messi and John Mikel Obi featured at the finals. Argentina also won that game 1 – 0.

How Nigeria Can Upset Argentina:
Argentina, one of the favorites to win 2014 world cup, usually has a quality edge over Nigeria. But the game between Bosnia Vs Argentina, revealed that the Argentine side isn’t a well-balanced team.

Argentina maybe unstoppable upfront with the combination of some of the best in the game, Messi, Di-Maria, Aguero and the rest. But the team also have a very porous defense line. We saw both Bosnia and Iran threatened it severally in their last two games.

Nigeria hasn’t conceded any goal so far, which shows how compact it’s midfield and defense line is. The team have players to curtail or stop entirely, Argentina’s insurgence upfront. But again, the fast paced Nigerian attackers, Ahmed Musa and Osaze Odenwingie could damage Argentina’s reputation with their counter attackers.

Argentina defense could find Emmanuel Emernike a hand full with his bullish style of play. Now, if Nigeria scores first in that game, then the world should be ready for another big upset.

The match will be a classic attacking and counter attacking spectacle. Hey, if you don’t have the heart or suffer any cardiovascular disease, please don’t watch this match!! However, we may see Nigeria out score Argentina to top Group F.

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