2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

14 June - 15 July

2018 FIFA World Cup™ 

Musa brace brings Nigeria back into contention

Nigeria got their first win of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ by beating tournament debutants Iceland 2-0 in Volgograd. The result means the race for second place in Group D will go down to the last game on 26 June. Ultimately, three teams will compete for a spot in the Round of 16 on the final day, with the Super Eagles still able to top the pool ahead of already-qualified Croatia.

The hero of the match was undoubtedly Ahmed Musa, who came alive in the second half and played superbly, scoring both Nigerian goals. His first finish in particular will surely live long in the memory as one of the goals of the tournament: he controlled Victor Moses’ cross with one touch, setting himself up for an unstoppable half-volley with his second. Both Musa’s strikes were warmly received by the crowd at the Volgograd Arena, many of whom are familiar with the striker from his spells at CSKA Moscow.

Interestingly, while the Super Eagles took control in the second half, in the first they failed to register a single shot on target on Hannes Halldorsson’s goal. The Icelanders came close to narrowing the deficit towards the end of the match, but their main star Gylfi Sigurdsson spurned a glorious chance from the penalty spot.

Team reporter analysis
Annette Braun with Nigeria [Twitter]
Nigeria struggled to create clear-cut chances in the first half. After Ahmed Musa’s two goals, Gernot Rohr’s extremely young team gained a lot of confidence from their attacking efforts, however. This will help them for the crucial final game against Argentina on Tuesday. Nigeria have it in their own hands now to advance to the Round of 16. That’s all they could have asked for.

Petur Hreinsson with Iceland [Twitter]
After a good first half, Iceland seemed a little shell-shocked following the first goal they conceded. One of the team’s most dangerous weapons, the long throw-in, turned against the Icelandic players and caught them off-guard. It was an up-hill battle after the goal and the Nigerians had the higher energy levels to close out the game.

Budweiser Man of the Match
Ahmed Musa not only scored a double in a crucial group-stage game but also became the first Nigerian in history to score at two FIFA World Cups.

The stat
3 - Iceland are the third World Cup debutants from Europe to have faced Nigeria at the tournament, and on every occasion the Eagles have emerged victorious, following victories against Greece (2-0) in 1994 and Bosnia and Herzegovina (1-0) in 2014.

What’s next
Iceland v Croatia (Group D, 26 June, Rostov-on-Don)
Nigeria v Argentina (Group D, 26 June, Saint Petersburg)

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