Rojo, Messi give Argentina dramatic win

AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky
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Lionel Messi struck early and Marcos Rojo became a national hero when his late goal gave Argentina a knockout round berth with a 2-1 win over Nigeria in the World Cup on Tuesday.

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Messi’s goal was brilliant. He collected a diagonal rope from Ever Banega with his thigh, dragging the ball into position before belting it beyond the reach of Francis Uzoho

It could’ve been a brace for Messi, but 19-year-old Nigerian goalkeeper  Uzoho pushed the Argentine’s terrific free kick off the far post.

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But Nigeria found its way to the scoresheet when Javier Mascherano was not given the benefit of the doubt for holding in the box on a corner kick.

Wilfred Ndidi blazed a shot over the bar in the 71st minute as Nigeria looked to put an end to all doubt.

Nigeria had another chance to put it to bed in the 75th minute when Marcos Rojo headed a ball off his arm, but the referee said there was no intent.

Gonzalo Higuain should’ve had it 2-1 in the 81st, but missed horribly with a cutback pass into the 18.

Argentina backstop Franco Armani made an outstanding in-tight save in the 82nd to keep the Albiceleste’s hopes alive.

And then what happened? Talk to ’em, Andy: