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Nigeria beats Iceland; Argentina still alive

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Ahmed Musa scored a pair of terrific goals as Nigeria set up Group D for a thrilling final day with a 2-0 win over Iceland in Volgograd on Friday.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was arguably Iceland’s Man of the Match before he sent a penalty kick over the bar.

Nigeria now has three points, two more than Argentina and Iceland. Nigeria plays Argentina and Croatia faces Iceland on Tuesday.

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Gylfi Sigurdsson swung a dangerous early free kick over the bar, then produced the game’s second chance. That one was caught by Francis Uzoho, the 19-year-old Deportivo de la Coruna backstop.

Nigeria’s breakthrough came courtesy a lethal counter attack, as Kenneth Omeruo headed a cross clear of the Eagles’ 18. Kelechi Iheanacho collected and found Victor Moses racing down the right flank.

Moses’ cross was collected by Musa with an unorthodox outside of the boot trap, allowing him a second against his surprised mark. Musa lashed home for 1-0.

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The game was delayed for a bit when Ragnar Sigurdsson was waylaid with a head injury.

Wilfred Ndidi had a rip deflected over the bar in the 57th, and Nigeria opted for a short corner.

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Musa then basically put it to bed when he cut into the 18 and danced around two defenders with the goalkeeper in between before putting a composed finish into the goal.

Iceland got new life through an 81st minute penalty kick awarded via Video Assistant Referee, but Gylfi Sigurdsson blazed it over the bar.

2018 World Cup team preview: Nigeria

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Getting to know Nigeria: Yes, we know their jerseys are selling out, but the team’s pretty good, too.

With Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Victor Moses (Chelsea), and Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City), this may be the best Nigeria side at a World Cup since the 2002 side with Nwankwo Kanu and Jay-Jay Okocha.

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Two of the Super Eagles’ four World Cup berths have ended in the Round of 16, including 2014’s 2-0 loss to France. Remember: this is a nation which has won a pair of U-17 World Cups in the past five years.

For more history on Nigeria, click here.

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What group are they in? D


Game schedule – Group D – Full 2018 World Cup schedule, here

Saturday, June 16: Croatia v Nigeria, Kaliningrad 3 p.m. ET
Friday, June 22: Nigeria v Iceland, Volgograd 11 a.m. ET
Tuesday, June 26: Nigeria v Argentina, St. Petersburg 2 p.m. ET


Projected lineup (4-3-3) – Check out the 23-man squad list in full

—– Uzoho —–

— Idowu — Troost-Ekung — Balogun — Shehu

—- Ndidi —- Onazi —- Obi —-

—- Iwobi —- Iheanacho —- Moses —-


Star player: Alex Iwobi – It was close, but Iwobi gets the nod over Chelsea’s Victor Moses. The Arsenal attacker is Jay-Jay Okocha’s nephew, and his two goals against Argentina last year served notice that he’s capable of shining on the international stage.


Manager: Gernot Rohr – The 64-year-old German has been around the block, doing club stints with Bordeaux, Nantes, Nice, and Young Boys as well as international duty with Gabon, Niger, and Burkina Faso.


Secret weapon: Wilfred Ndidi —  Just like in the Premier League with Leicester City, Ndidi may not stand out from the XI but he’s a disruptive force. At 20 years old, he’s got a chance to start a journey as an African legend of the World Cup.


Prediction: Man (or woman), is this a tough one. Argentina is one of the tournament favorites, and both Croatia and Nigeria could be considered the top dark horse of the field (lest we forget group mate Iceland’s EURO run). A lot rides on match No. 1 against Croatia, and we think Nigeria just comes up short in a bid to finish second.

Leicester striker Iheanacho breaks hand while with Nigeria

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Leicester City could be without one of its strikers this weekend after picking up an injury while on international duty.

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Kelechi Iheanacho suffered a hand fracture during his stay with Nigeria over the international break, leaving the Foxes forward in jeopardy of missing this weekend’s Premier League clash against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Nigeria manager Gernot Roar confirmed the striker’s injury prior to Tuesday night’s defeat against Serbia.

“Unfortunately, we have one broken hand’, said Rohr, according to the Leicester Mercury. “This player cannot play. He has fractured the first metacarpal. This is Kelechi Iheanacho, so he will not be with us.”

This season, Iheanacho has scored five goals in all competitions for the 2015/16 PL champions, however, the 21-year-old has found the back of the net just once in league play.

Leicester City 1-1 Swansea: Foxes frustrated by Fernandez

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  • Vardy scores 11th of season
  • Fernandez levels off corner kick
  • Swans sit 17th, Foxes 8th

Jamie Vardy‘s early goal had many thinking “No Mahrez, no problem,” but Swansea City answered the bell in a 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Federico Fernandez was the man to provide Swans a crucial point, as they sit 17th after picking up their 24th of the season. Leicester fails to leapfrog drawing Burnley, and is a point back of 7th.

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Harry Maguire helped Kelechi Iheanacho to space and a dribble, with the Nigerian then executing a deft pass to slip Vardy on goal for 1-0 before the match was 20 minutes old.

Leicester had a couple more dynamite chances in the first half hour, including a Wilfred Ndidi goal which appeared to be called back for offside since referee Anthony Taylor initially missed the raised flag.

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Forgive yourself if you doubted Carlos Carvalhal’s comeback acumen, but Fernandez made the most of a dipping Ki Sung Yeung corner to bring the visitors level.

Everton 2-1 Leicester City: Walcott leads with two

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  • Walcott gets first two EFC goals
  • Everton three back of eighth
  • Vardy scores PK
  • Leicester drops behind Burnley

Theo Walcott scored twice as Everton moved up the table with a 2-1 win over Riyad Mahrez-less Leicester City on Wednesday at Goodison Park.

Jamie Vardy pulled back a goal late on a Wilfred Ndidi-won penalty kick, but Leicester’s loss dropped it into 8th. The Foxes are just three points ahead of ninth place Everton.

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Walcott gave Everton an early shot on target and corner kick, but Leicester made a quick impact too when Wilfried Ndidi headed a chance off the cross bar.

Two 2017-18 additions teamed up for a goal before the half hour mark, as Gylfi Sigurdsson cued Walcott up for the opener.

Walcott then connected off a headed pass from another Toffees’ new boy: Michael Keane. 2-0 at Goodison. Dreamland.

Leicester earned a penalty just as the result felt academic. Wayne Rooney pulled down Ndidi, and Vardy did what he usually does from the spot. 2-1.

Was a comeback well and truly on? It appeared so, as Kelechi Iheanacho twice hit the frame with the game nearing its final 10 minutes.

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