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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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Nigeria's players celebrate the team's second goal during an international friendly football match between Argentina and Nigeria in Krasnodar on November 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV

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

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

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


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