• first half
  • 15'
  • 30'
  • second half
  • 60'
  • 75'
  • 90'

26' Banega

35' Aguero

45' Out Aguero in Benedetto

57' Out Giovani Lo Celso in Alejandro Gómez

62' Out Paulo Dybala in Belluschi

75' Out Di María in Emiliano Rigoni

76' Out Cristian Pavon in Perotti

79' Out Pezzella in Insúa


16' K. Iheanacho

43' K. Iheanacho

45' Out Abdullahi Shehu in Ebuehi

45' Out Akpeyi in Francis Uzoho

45' Out Ola Aina in Brian Idowu

51' Alex Iwobi

53' Brian Idowu

60' Out Balogun in Omeruo

69' Out K. Iheanacho in Musa

72' Alex Iwobi

86' Out Alex Iwobi in Kayode

World Cup 2018

Argentina 2-4 Nigeria World Cup 2018 friendly match: match report, goals, action

Argentina went two goals up in the first half before conceding four as they were swept aside on the counter by Nigeria in World Cup friendly.
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Argentina 2-4 Nigeria World Cup 2018 friendly match: match report, goals, action

Arsenal's Alex Iwobi scored twice as Nigeria stunned two-time World Cup winners Argentina by recovering from two goals down to triumph 4-2 in Krasnodar on Tuesday.

Messi-less Argentina pegged back in Russia

Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega and Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero fired Argentina, playing without the rested Lionel Messi, into a 2-0 lead after 36 minutes.

But Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho pulled one back on the stroke of half-time before Iwobi netted a second-half brace either side of a goal from Brian Idowu to shock the South Americans.

Argentina, who beat Russia 1-0 in Moscow on Saturday at the ground that will host next year's World Cup, left Messi out of Tuesday's friendly following an agreement with Barcelona.

Banega and Agüero leave Albiceleste two to the good

Banega delivered the opening goal on 28 minutes with a well-struck free-kick after Nigeria goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi was penalised for a handball outside his area.

Argentina promptly doubled their advantage when Agüero, who scored the late winner over Russia, converted a right-wing cross by Cristian Pavon, the Boca Juniors winger making his first international start.

Alex Iwobi (left) and Brian Idowu of Nigeria celebrate during Nigeria's win over Argentina.

Iheanacho, Iwobi and Idowu turn scoreboard on its head

But Nigeria, who went unbeaten throughout their World Cup qualifying campaign, refused to surrender and Iheanacho halved the deficit before the break with a 25-yard free-kick.

Iheanacho then found an unmarked Iwobi who equalised from close range on 52 minutes, with Amkar Perm defender Idowu drilling Nigeria into a 3-2 lead moments later.

Iwobi grabs his second to make sure of victory for Nigeria

Argentina's attempts to claw their way back into the match were ended when Iwobi grabbed his second goal on 73 minutes, taking a pass from Ahmed Musa and hammering home to seal just a second win over Argentina in eight meetings.

Argentina 2-4 Nigeria: as it happened

90'+4' GAME OVER! That is very disappoint for Argentina but Nigeria managed that one perfectly even after going down 2-0. 

90'+4'   Argentina with a nice spell but just a lot of balls flying into the box with no result. 

90'+2'   Corner is met by Otamendi and doesn't quite go wide. Argentina recover out on the left. 

90'+1'   Perez fouled again. further out on the left now and it's sent in. Nigeria put it out for a corner.

89'   Perez turned upside down by Mikel. Free for Argentina with Banega lining it up. He strikes and drives it over.

86' Kayode replaces Iwobi, who has to be the man of the match.

85'   Isowbi races forward, skips past Perez, who makes a lame effort of a tackle. Musa crosses and Argentina put it out for a corner.

85'   Musa cuts inside, beats a defender, and crosss. It's cleared by Argentina. Nigeria looking dangerous every time they break.

83'   Benedetto with a chance. He heads at Uzoho, the substitute keeper, and he palms it over. Corner and Otamendi strikes it as it falls to him. Wide!

81'   Corner comes in and Ndidi heads just wide. He had a free header there. Probably could have done better and seems to know that himself.

80' Insua replaces Pezzella.

79'   Another chance. Iwobi sends a cross deep but Mascherano heads away. It falls to a Nigerian player again at the back post and Nigeria attack again but it ends with nothing.

77'   Nigeria were so tame in the opening 45 minutes. That goal gave them hope and they have exploded to life. Four unanswered goals. What a turnaround.

75'   Back to the same set-up. Argentina with loads of possession and Nigeria soaking it up.

73'   4-2! Iwobi again. Nutmegs Mascherano with the right and buries it with his left.

71'   Argentina still looking for a way through. Nigeria happy to soak up the pressure knowing that the Argentine's are fragile against the counter.

69'   Iheanacho off and Musa on to keep the Leicester contingent strong in the Nigerian squad.

67'   Corner bobbles around before arriving to Enzo Perez. He heads over despite Argentinian cries for another corner.

66'   Di Maria receives a ball over the top from Banega and he crosses but Nigeria manage to clear it out for a corner. Sampaoli out of the technical area and he's not happy in the slightest.

63'   Banega strikes straight at a defender and Nigeria break again. They are finding more and more room at the back here. Argentina all over the place at times.

61' Balogun replaced by Omeruo.

60'   Game has been very patchy since the two goals. Argentina trying to build superiority again but finding it hard.

59'   Cross comes in from the right and Iheanacho flicks it towards goal. Looked like it might sneak by Marchesin but he saves.

57'   Benedetto with the ball out on the right and he tries to cross but it's blocked and takes a kind Nigeria bounce. Nigeria on the break.

59' Lo Celso replaced by Alejandro Gomez.

57'   Benedetto with the ball out on the right and he tries to cross but it's blocked and takes a kind Nigeria bounce. Nigeria on the break.

57'   Iheanacho looking for another but he hits the ground under a challenge from Otamendi. No free and Argentina steal away with the ball.

56'   Granted it's a friendly but Argentina have taken their foot entirely off the gas here. Nigeria barely threatened and now have three goals.

54' GOAL! Idowu curls home after a counter by Argentina. 3-2 now.

53'   Poor from Argentina. They've been the much better team.

52' GOAL! Iheanacho squares to Iwobi. He finishes past Marchesin.

52'   Enzo Perez hits the ground and Obi Mikel seems to catch him with a boot as he lies on goal.

50'   Corner headed wide by two Nigerians at the back post.

50'   Otamendi concedes a corner. Poor touch by Lo Celso gifts Ebuehi the ball. 

49'   Dybala to Mascherano and he lets fly with a cross. Cleared by Nigeria and it comes straight back down to Akpeyi, who gathers and sets Nigeria up.

47'   Argentina back in the driving seat to start the half.

46' Aguero replaced by Benedetto.

46'   We are back underway! 

45'   Half-time. Sampaoli and Argentina will have to be upset with that. They controlled the game completely and then concede a goal just before the break.

45' GOAL! Nigeria score with their first proper chance. Free-kick beats Marchesin although he did get a hand to it. Iheanacho the goalscorer.

44'   First proper chance for Nigeria. Iwobi fouled outside the box by Mascherano. 

43'   Ball in around the back and Di Maria is offside.

42'   Dybala bundled over by Aina. 

42'   Good cross but Nigeria head it away. Straight back to Argentina. Mascherano wiht it and plays it to a teammate. Argentina in third gear and very comfortable here.

41'   Di Maria wins a corner. 

40'   Balogun gives the ball away and Argentina have a break. They can't do anything with it though but keep possession and recycle it! 

39'   Obi Mikel fouled by Enzo Perez as he tries to start a counter.

37'   Nigeria really off the pace so far. They've struggled to generate anything. Two goals down now in the first half!

36' GOAL! Pavn down the right and squares to Aguero, who makes no mistake from close range.

33'   Decent move by Nigeria but it ends in a throw to Argentina as Iwobi fails to control it.

32'   another good break. Lo Celso and he plays it back to Aguero, who shots but sees it blocked. Lo Celso gets it again and strikes wide.

32'   He misses the target though.

32'   Otamendi with a free header! 

30'   Otamendi drives forward. Finds Enzo Perez in a very advanced position but the keeper comes out and saves. Corner. 

28' Banega scored from the free-kick. He sends it to the keeper's right.

26'   What is going on? The keeper handles it outside the box. He threw the ball down, picked it up as Aguero closed him down, handling it outside the box. Ref gives a free and nothing else? No card or anything? That was weird.

25'   Aguero's back up and we are back in action.

23'   Ball comes into the back post again. Pavon sends it back and Aguero shoots. He looks to be fouled but strikes it despite his foot being clipped. He's down injured now and another stoppage.

22'   Argentina getting closer. Still no chances on goal but they prying down the left-hand side with Di Maria growing into it.

20'   Di Maria takes it all the way down the line again and Pavon fouls Aina as the ball comes into the back post.

20'   Back in action and another foul. Di Maria gets ready to swing it in. Good ball but cleared by Nigeria.

18'   Yellow for the Liecester player. Otemandi still grabbing his jaw.

16'   Otamendi goes down under a challenge from Iheanacho. Elbow to the face and the Argentine is not happy. Some pushing and shoving before that. He's being checked by the trainers.

14'   A few Argentinian fans in the crowd with a very homemade sign. "Argentina forever", it reads. Corner eventually comes in and it's cleared. Argentina back in possession.

13'   Sent in and Balogun heads clear before colliding with his own player. A head injury, or a jaw injury more precisely.

12'   Pavon wins a corner. 

10'   Argentina being forced back. They have no target man to speak of. That right-hand side proving somewhat fruitful though.

8'   Argentina with a very measured approach so far. They have just under 60% of possession but not really troubling Nigeria yet.

6'   Argentina press, force them backwards and then Akpeyi hits it long.

6'   Nigeria with their first chance to hold onto the ball. They're deep in their own half.

5'   Mascherano long ball to Pavon and he turns back before Argentina set up. Aguero puts Dybala through and his shot is blocked before tamely bouncing up to Akpeyi.

5'   Sampaoli up and stalking the sidelines. 

4'   Otamendi goes down after being caught by Shehu. Looked harmless enough and Argentina win the free.

3'   Ball starts on the left with Di Maria and makes it's way to the right with Pavon but he's offside. 

2'   Argentina throwing it around early on. They lose it and pressure early, and eagerly, before winning it back.

1'   Sampaoli and Argentine could not inflict their style of play given the pressurised circumstances he took over in. It will be interesting to see if he finally stamps his style on this side ahead of the World Cup.

1'   We are underway. 

Mascherano and Jon Obi Mikel up for the coin toss and a picture before kick-off.

The Nigerian national anthem blares to a sparse crowd. And not it's time for the Argentinian anthem.

Paulo Dybala gets the start tonight. He recently said he struggles to play with Messi but says the comments were taken out of context. He said there were lots of questions and the bulk of them were about Messi. He said loads of nice things about his teammate too but the one bad thing he said, he says was used. Messi laughed it off when they met recently and explained to the young Juventus player not to take everything in the press so seriously.

The referee and his assistants for this evening are all local chaps:

  Nigeria have already announced their team for this afternoon's game. The starting 11 is as follows:

Nigeria captain Jon Obi Mikel said before the game that Argentina chose to play the Super Eagles as they would pose a stern test for the Albiceleste.

There will be no Leo Messi this evening, La Pulga having been given the night off, so it's expected that Paulo Dybala will play in his place.

World Cup runners-up Argentina play Nigeria with both sides qualified for the 2018 tournament. Here's how and where you can watch tonight's game.

Argentina vs Nigeria: preview

Both the "Albiceleste" and "Super Eagles" will be back in Russia next year and what better way to prepare and acclamation than a mid November pre-match friendly in the city of Krasnodar. The bad news for the fans who attend the Krasnodar Arena is the absence of Barcelona's Lionel Messi who has been given time off for additional rest by Argentine national team coach Jorge Sampaoli.

Argentina team news

The head coach will use the mid November friendly to test out the likes of Agustín Marchesín who is expected to be handed the goalkeeper jersey with Sampaoli still looking for his ideal XI with the World Cup some 8 months away.

Argentina only qualified for the tournament in a last gasp dramatic win away in the altitude of Quito when Messi almost single-handed pulled the side through.

Sampaoli is endeavouring to complement established players withing the side such as Messi and Javier Mascherano with new blood in the form of Germán Pezzella or Giovani Lo Celso and is anticipated to remain faithful with the bulk of the team who impressively overcame Russia last week 0-1.

The anticipates starting line-up for the Krasnodar Arena will see Sergio Agüero leading the line with Marchesín in goal, a defensive line-up composed of, Javier Mascherano, Germán Pezzella and Nicolás Otamendi. The midfield will be manned by Banega, Matías Kranevitter and Giovani Lo Celso with Dybala taking Messi's place with the striking line-up augmented by Cristian Pavón and Ángel Di María or Diego Perotti.

Nigeria team news

Nigeria were one of the first nations to qualify for the 2018 competition and one of the few teams to emerge from the qualifying phase unbeaten.

Tomorrow's game in Krasnodar will be their first pre-Russia 2018 preparatory test with head coach Gernot Rohr set to welcome the much-loved by Super Eagles fans Mikel Obi back into the starting line-up.

Argentina v Nigeria:betting odds

Fancy the African side to win.out against the South American outfit? A 5/1 price is attached to a win for the Super Eagles in Krasnodar.

Bet on Argentina v Nigeria responsibly here