Nigeria Qualifies For The Knockout Stage

Just a day after his 27th birthday, the Barcelona star Lionel Messi gave another master-class that took him level with Brazil’s Neymar on four goals for the tournament securing top spot in their group.

Ahmed Musa also scored a brace for Nigeria before Marcos Rojo scored a late winner for Argentina.

Nigeria will now meet France in the knockout stage that finished at the top of group E after a 0-0 draw with Ecuador.

In other matches played, Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri scored a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Honduras sending Switzerland through to the knockout stages, and set up a second round show against Argentina.

Today, Portugal will play Ghana for the first time at an international level in a must win match for either side in a bid to proceed to the next group.

Ghana's chances are more hopeful although they must win and hope the Germany beat USA.

On the other hand, Portugal will need a five-goal swing to reduce the goal difference incurred after heavy thrashing by Germany.

Germany and USA will sail through to the last 16 if the two draw in their last match to be played in Arena Pernambuco, Recife.

A win by Algeria over Russia in Arena da Baixada, Curitiba will secure them a place in the knockout stage for the first time after an emphatic win South Korea in previous game.

In the last match of the day, the already qualified Belgium will play South Korea in Arena de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo.

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots is likely to rest players on a yellow card with striker Divock Origi set to be handed a start replacing out-of-form Romelu Lukaku.

Today’s Fixtures

Germany vs. USA (Arena Pernambuco, Recife-7:00 PM

Portugal vs. Ghana (Estadio Nacional, Brasilia-7:00 pm)

Algeria vs. Russia (Arena da Baixada-11:00 pm)

Belgium vs. South Korea (Arena de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo-11:00 pm)

By Morgan Mueke


World cup Ahmed Musa Morgan Mueke Knockout stage

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