Two pleasant objectives from the spectacular Ahmed Musa secured Nigeria a primary victory of the event and lowered Iceland’s probabilities of making it into the closing 16.
Gylfi Sigurdsson squandered a overdue lifeline for Iceland, botching a penalty within the 80th minute which might have arrange a grandstand end. The Everton participant’s profligacy summed up Iceland’s day.
The Tremendous Eagles at the moment are 2d in Staff D and their concluding crew fit towards two-time champions Argentina can be billed as a winner-takes-all tie.
Excitingly Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland may just nonetheless sign up for undefeated Croatia within the subsequent spherical, although the location stays sophisticated. However must Iceland fail to overcome crew leaders Croatia of their ultimate fit, a draw or higher for Nigeria can be sufficient for them to growth.
No Halldorsson heroics in Volgograd
The underdogs — the smallest nation to compete at a International Cup — started promisingly. Sigurdsson tamely shot at goalkeeper Francis Uzoho early on, whilst Alfred Finnbogason may just now not hook up with a venomous Sigurdsson inswinging freekick within the 44th minute.
However for territory and ownership there was once just one group in it, although the Tremendous Eagles lacked the dynamism to bother Iceland within the first half of. Within the first 45 mins, Nigeria didn’t even file a unmarried try on function.
The second one half of was once fast to entertain, alternatively.
A speedy counter assault from the Nigerians culminated with Musa’s pretty half-volley. The Leicester Town striker sublimely managed Victor Moses’ move and beat Hannes Halldorsson with a thunderous close-range effort.
Halldorsson needed to briefly be alert to stop the Tremendous Eagles from doubling their lead, tipping over midfielder Wilfred Ndidi’s dipping 35-yard thunderbolt.
Musa then struck the crossbar with a shot from distance prior to brilliantly scoring his 2d. Sprinting down the left flank, the striker was once too fast for Iceland’s defence and, with Kári Árnason overwhelmed, he reduce inside of, weaved past the diving Halldorsson to side-foot house.
Referee Matthew Conger’s determination to award Iceland a penalty following a VAR evaluation — Tyronne Ebuehi was once rightly penalized for clipping the heels of Alfred Finnbogason — may just now not even get Iceland at the scoresheet.
Regardless of defeat, Iceland nonetheless has an opportunity, albeit narrow, of progressing however beating a Croatian group which has already with a bit of luck overwhelmed Argentina and Nigeria can be an hard job.