Argentina 1-1 Iceland
World cup debutants, Iceland held their nerve to play out a draw against last World cup’s runner-up. The Scandinavians having equalised in the first-half must have been happy to sit back and soak up the pressure which they did brilliantly. Sergio Aguero put Argentina ahead with a wonderful control, turn and finish before Alfred Finnbogason capitalised on poor goalkeeping from Caballero to score his country’s first ever world cup goal four minutes later.
Lionel Messi presented with a chance to win it for Argentina missed from the spot after Maximiliano Meza was brought down in the box.
Nigeria 0-2 Croatia
Croatia were on the receiving end of two mistakes from Nigeria in a close contest in Kaliningrad. The Super Eagles made a nightmare when Oghenekaro Etebo put through his own net from a Luka Modric corner-kick that was flicked on by Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic. In the 71st minute, poor defending from Troost Ekong left the Super Eagles with a mountain to climb when he dragged down Mario Mandzukic in the penalty area allowing captain Luka Modric convert from the spot.
Argentina 0-3 Croatia
Croatia followed up their superb performance against Nigeria with a perfect display against Argentina. Although the first-half was impressive from both sides, it only showed a sign of things to come as there was no goal. The second-half featured three goals, all for Croatia.
Willy Caballero made a costly mistake when a wayward pass from him presented Ante Rebic with an opportunity to good to resist in the 53rd-minute. Luka Modric made it two in the 80th minute with an amazing strike from outside the box before Lionel Messi’s Barcelona teammate Ivan Rakitic applied the icing on the cake to mark a disappointing collapse for the Albiceleste.
Nigeria 2-0 Iceland
Nigeria rose from the ashes of their defeat to Croatia to defeat Scandinavian opponent, Iceland. Ahmed Musa recalled into the starting lineup scored both goals for the Super Eagles attaining god-like status amongst Nigerians.
The Super Eagles displayed poorly in the first-half but sprung to life in the other half taking just four minutes since the interval to open scoring when Victor Moses sent a cross in after a lung-bursting run down the right with Musa on hand to bring it down smoothly before releasing an half-volley into the back of the net. The second goal would come fifteen minutes from time via a combination of speed and skill from Ahmed Musa after Kenneth Omeruo fed him down the left.
Croatia 2-1 Iceland
Croatia already secured qualification to the last-16 and were in the position to choose which team would go on with them. Like Luka Modric said after the match against Argentina, the Croats defeated Iceland for Lionel Messi and Argentina leaving the Albiceleste to finish the job with a win against Nigeria, which they did however late.
Milan Badelj and Ivan Perisic both scored side by side a Gylfi Sigurdsson 76th-minute penalty to secure maximum points in Rostov Arena, making it nine from nine.
Nigeria 1-2 Argentina
With Croatia already in the knockout stages, this encounter promised to be entertaining with all other three sides; Nigeria, Iceland and Argentina having a chance at qualification. It lived up to the hype and in the 14th-minute Lionel Messi snuck in behind Nigeria’s three-man defence to meet Ever Banega’s long ball before sending a right-footed finish past Uzoho, the Nigerian goalie.
Victor Moses equalised from the spot for the Super Eagles after Mascherano was punished for pulling down Leon balogun and the Super Eagles were denied another penalty before Marcos Rojo evaded the Nigerian defence to place a neat finish beyond Uzoho late into the match.