Rojo The Unlikely Argentina Hero

Argentina had their talisman and an unexpected match-winner to thank for extending their stay at the 2018 World Cup.

Lionel Messi became the first player to score at the finals in his teens, 20s and 30s as he opened the scoring with a fine effort against Nigeria, the 100th in Russia.

A VAR-assisted equaliser came via Victor Moses’ second-half penalty as Javier Mascherano was penalised for a push in the area and the troubled South Americans – runners-up four years ago – needed victory to go through to the last 16.

In a dramatic encounter the Super Eagles had chances to win it before, at one point, it appeared that skipper Messi made the call to bring on Sergio Aguero rather than his coach, Jorge Sampaoli. But with minutes remaining, Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo produced a fine right-footed finish to send his nation into raptures, eliminating Nigeria in the process.

Closer to home the winner was also unexpected… as his mother revealed to Globoesporte: “When we realised it was Marcos, there was a commotion. It’s because the kick was right footed, and he only uses the right foot to support himself, we did not think it was Marcos.”

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