Man Of The Match Ahmed Musa Gives Super Eagles Hope
Hitman Ahmed Musa gave Super Eagles lead after a swift counter-attack channeled by Victor Moses barely four minutes into the second half that saw Nigeria defeat Iceland 2-0.
Musa doubled the lead in the 75th minute with fine solo effort, after hitting the crossbar.
A fine individual effort from the No7! He bursts clear of Kari Arnason before rounding Hannes Halldorsson.
He composes himself before firing into the net. It’s his fourth goal in two World Cup matches (his previous World Cup game was versus Argentina at Brazil 2014).
The Nigerian No7 becomes the second African player to score two World Cup braces, after Roger Milla in 1990.
The Super Eagles had struggled to create clear-cut chances in the first half.
After Ahmed Musa’s two goals, thought, the young Eagles gained a lot of confidence in their attacking efforts.
This will no doubt give them a huge boost ahead of the huge final Group D clash against Argentina on Tuesday.
Though Victor Moses deserves credit for a match well-played, no-one was left in doubt who is the man Man Of The Match.
Iceland’s Gylfi Sigurdsson missed penalty that would have comforted the team awarded after on-field Video Assisted Referee [VAR] review.
After an on-pitch VAR review, the original decision to award a goal-kick was overturned.
Sigurdsson did not take advantage of the opportunity to reduce the deficit though, blasting the resulting spot kick over the crossbar.
Nigeria have it in their own hands now to advance to the Round of 16 and that is all they could have asked for.
The Icelandic team lost the battle in the second half.
Their energy levels were lower than those of the Nigerians and they lost too many individual battles everywhere on the pitch.
One-on-one situations were indeed the moments where the Nigerian players were at their best.
Nigeria have won five games at the World Cup, and all have come against European sides. They are on the verge of making that six out of six.
The situation is still dicey though as there are chances that the three teams besides Croatia might finish level on points.
It is possible if Nigeria draws with Argentina and Iceland wins Croatia.
So what happens if the three sides finish level on points with somebody else? How are the final placings in the groups determined?
Here are the tie-break scenarios for rankings in the groups:
- Greatest number of points
- Goal difference in all group matches
- Goals scored in all group matches
If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings shall be determined as follows:
- Greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned
- Goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned
- Greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned
- Greater number of points obtained regarding fair play conduct (yellow cards = -1, indirect red card (as a result of a second yellow card) = -3, direct red card = -4, yellow card and direct red = -5, with only one of the deductions applied to a player in a single game)
- Drawing of lots by FIFA.
Tuesday will tell it all.
HOW THEY STAND