Marcos Rojo was in tears after his late goal lifted Argentina from the dregs of its footballing history into the knockout rounds of the World Cup.
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Rojo blasted a volley from Gabriel Mercado home as the match-winner of a 2-1 Group D finale against Nigeria, joining a marvelous Lionel Messi opener on the score sheet.
And Rojo was very much here for Messi.
“Lionel Messi had told the guys he was going to score a goal more than ever. The goal is for my family and for this group that deserves it. Let’s go Argentina!”
Messi was effusive in his praise for his teammates, Argentine people, and even a more holy spirit.
“We were confident that we would win this game. It’s wonderful to have won it this way. It is a well-deserved joy. I knew that God is with us and he was not going to leave us out. I thank all the people who are here, for all their sacrifice, and all those who are in Argentina who were always with us. The shirt of the national team is above all.”
Religious enthusiasm aside, we’re grateful that Messi’s World Cup story plays on (though there wasn’t a team in Group D without plenty of reason for our support). Against France, though, Messi may need some archangels to come down play defense for Argentina.