Argentina 2 – 4 Nigeria – What a game and what a sensational second-half display from Nigeria! They were 2-0 down just moments before half-time, but Iheanacho gave them a boost heading into the break and he and Iwobi were then key to the fight-back.
Iwobi strikes twice in comeback victory against Argentina, This was only Nigeria’s second win against Argentina – and their second in which they’ve scored four times! Amazing.
Banega and Aguero had secured that comfortable lead, but Iheanacho, after scoring himself, teed up goals for Iwobi and Idowu. Iwobi notched the fourth, too, and there was no way back for Argentina.
Super Eagles produce stunning comeback in Krasnodar. Sergio Aguero moved clear in third place on Argentina’s all-time scoring list before Jorge Sampaoli’s side fell apart in the second half.
Alex Iwobi scored twice as Nigeria fought back from 2-0 down against an Argentina side missing Lionel Messi to secure a stunning 4-2 friendly victory in Krasnodar.
Sergio Aguero scored his 36th international goal to move clear in third place on Argentina’s all-time scoring list as Jorge Sampaoli’s side looked set to prosper despite the absence of Messi, who had returned to Barcelona after featuring in the 1-0 win over Russia on Saturday.
Having drawn level with Hernan Crespo by scoring a late winner against the Russians, Aguero followed up his first international goal since June 2016 by tapping home Argentina’s second to back up Ever Banega’s free-kick opener.
Yet their comfortable cushion evaporated either side of the interval, with Kelechi Iheanacho inspiring a Nigeria fightback with a free-kick of his own in the closing stages of the first half.
Two goals in the space of three second-half minutes from Iwobi and Bryan Idowu swung the game further away from Argentina, with the former then slotting home a fourth to secure Nigeria just their second ever win over their South American opponents.
The astonishing turnaround came after Banega’s 28th-minute free-kick gave Sampaoli’s side a deserved lead – albeit they needed help from goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi to break the deadlock.
After nudging the ball outside his own penalty area, a careless Akpeyi curiously allowed Aguero to quickly close the gap, forcing him to pick it up to prevent embarrassment.
He did not escape punishment for his error, however, as Banega curled the resulting set-piece opportunity into the net, Akpeyi opening up further space to target by taking an unnecessary step behind his wall.
Aguero added a second eight minutes later to move clear of Crespo, the striker tapping home Cristian Pavon’s low cross from the right, and at that stage Argentina were coasting.
Nigeria had barely threatened in the first half but still managed to get back in the game, Iheanacho following Banega’s example by scoring from a free-kick in the final minute of the first half.
We turned around a 2 goal deficit to beat Argentina. The Leicester City striker’s effort came after he had earlier left an impression on Nicolas Otamendi, catching his former Manchester City team-mate with an elbow.
Yet Iheanacho escaped with only a yellow card and, after halving the deficit, he heaped further pain on Argentina by setting up Nigeria’s quick-fire double after the break.
After providing the square pass from the right that allowed Iwobi to sweep home an equaliser, the 21-year-old forward played in Idowu to curl a right-footed effort beyond goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin.
Hit by a one-two combination, Argentina struggled to mount a response as they looked to get back on level terms in a game that had somehow escaped from their grasp.
With no Messi to inspire any late heroics, Iwobi wrapped up the victory for Nigeria, the Arsenal forward finishing with his left foot after swerving his way beyond Javier Mascherano.
Argentina 2 – 4 Nigeria | International Friendly Match – Match Highlights
- 27′ 1 – 0 É. Banega opens the scoring when he finds the net! What a costly error. There’s no booking for the goalkeeper, but his punishment is seeing the Argentina midfielder curl an effort into the bottom-right corner. 1-0. Pavon gets in on the right as Argentina chase a quick second, but Akpeyi reads his low cross and intercepts.
36′ 2 – 0 Sergio Agüero scores and Argentina are two up and it’s Aguero! He is left with the simplest of finishes in front of goal. So easy. 2-0. It was Pavon who laid on that goal for Aguero, taking a pass on the right and delivering across goal.
44′ 2 – 1 Kelechi Iheanacho scores and picks one goal off with a beauty! Nigeria have not had a sniff, but their star forward curls the free-kick over the wall and Agustin Marchesin can only help the shot into the top corner. Game on? 2-1. Iheanacho scored shortly after Nigeria had a free-kick right on the edge ofthe area… They’re a little fortunate as Mikel’s lay-off to Iwobi was a poor one, but Mascherano’s foul on the Arsenal man sees the referee bring play back.
52′ 2 – 2 Alex Iwobi strikes and equalises as Iwobi has been below par today, but now he’s fired the leveller! It’s a beautiful placed effort into the bottom-left corner, leaving the goalkeeper with little chance. 2-2. Iheanacho, the scorer of the first, fed his strike partner for that second. Who could have seen this comeback at 2-0? Sensational from Nigeria.
54′ 2 – 3 Bryan Idowu scores an incredible goal! Nigeria are ahead, from two down! Idowu gets the goal, calmly curling into the corner from Iheanacho’s lay-off. What a start to the second half this has been. 2-3. Iheanacho has been at the centre of everything – good and bad – today, providing another assist here.
73′ 2 – 4 Alex Iwobi scores an astounding goal! The Arsenal forward shimmies away from Mascherano and finishes into the corner. Nigeria have been unbelievable in this second half. 2-4. It was Musa who assumed Iheanacho’s role and laid on the pass to Iwobi, although the scorer still had a lot to do on the edge of the area.
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