This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 8 °C Sunday 18 November, 2018
Advertisement

Brilliant Musa double inspires Nigeria to victory as Group D is blown wide open

Leicester City forward Ahmed Musa sent the Super Eagles into second place with an impressive brace against Iceland.

Musa celebrates scoring his second goal on Friday.
Musa celebrates scoring his second goal on Friday.
Image: Kevin C. Cox

AHMED MUSA STRUCK twice to become the first Nigerian to score at two World Cups Friday as the Super Eagles secured a crucial 2-0 win over Iceland, who missed a penalty.

The African side will secure a spot in the knockout stage if they beat Argentina on Tuesday in Group D’s final round of fixtures.

A draw would be enough to eliminate the Argentines but would leave Nigeria’s fate hinging on the outcome of Iceland’s game against Croatia.

Musa, who came into the starting line-up in place of Alex Iwobi, announced himself with two of the goals of the tournament so far.

Musa’s sweetly struck half-volley fired Nigeria into the lead just after half-time before he added a second with 15 minutes to go to make the Group D game safe.

Iceland got a lifeline in the 82nd minute with a VAR-awarded penalty but dead-ball specialist Gylfi Sigurdsson blazed over the bar.

Nigeria v Iceland: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Rurik Gislason of Iceland looks dejected following his sides defeat. Source: Shaun Botterill

With Croatia heading the group on six points Nigeria knew a second defeat would mean elimination and Iceland started brightest after coach Heimir Hallgrimsson changed to a 4-4-2 from the 4-5-1 he had used in the 1-1 draw with Argentina.

Alfred Finnbogason, who scored the equaliser against Argentina as a lone striker, was joined up front by Jon Bodvarsson and the pair quickly made an impact.

Captain Aron Gunnarsson launched a long throw into the box and, after Bodvarsson had made a nuisance of himself, a push gave Iceland a free-kick just outside the area.

Gylfi Sigurdsson struck it smoothly round the wall but 19-year-old goalkeeper Francis Uzoho was able to make the save high to his right.

Nigeria, with captain John Obi Mikel sitting deeper in midfield than against Croatia, slowly worked their way into the game with Victor Moses a constant threat on the right flank.

The match became a stalemate until 10 minutes before half-time when Iceland came close to opening the scoring but Leon Balogun’s glancing header just did enough to thwart Gylfi Sigurdsson and Birkir Bjarnason lurking at the back post.

Nigeria v Iceland: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Source: Kevin C. Cox

And on the stroke of half-time Finnbogason came within a whisker of doubling his World Cup tally when he flashed wide Gylfi Sigurdsson’s whipped in free-kick.

Gerhot Rohr brought on wing back Tyronne Ebuehi for Bryan Idowu at the start of the second half and Nigeria came out full of running.

The tireless Moses was released down the right and his cross was met by Musa who teed up the ball deftly with the outside of his right foot before unleashing an unstoppable half-volley into the roof of the net.

As he wheeled away in celebration his knee caught Ragnar Sigurdsson in the back of the head and the Iceland defender needed treatment, a bandage and a change of shirt after sustaining a nasty cut.

Wilfred Ndidi forced Hannes Halldorsson into a fine fingertip save with a wickedly dipping shot from distance in the 58th minute.

Musa made the game safe with his second, controlling a long ball without breaking stride and beating Kari Arnason before rounding Halldorsson and powering his shot past two covering defenders on the line.

© – AFP, 2018

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

Liam Brady and Richie Sadlier were at odds after VAR helped overturn Neymar’s penalty claim

Late goals from big names Coutinho and Neymar hand Brazil first win of the tournament

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (14)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel