By Steve Keating
PORTO ALEGRE: Lionel Messi scored twice to inspire Argentina to a thrilling 3-2 win over Nigeria yesterday which clinched top spot in World Cup Group F and sent home an army of Sky Blue supporters with smiles on their faces.
The few Nigerian fans in the crowd also left happy because their team advanced to the knockout phase thanks to Bosnia's 3-1 win over Iran. Argentina finished on nine points, Nigeria on four, Bosnia three and Iran one.
Nigeria entered the contest as the only team who had yet to concede a goal but had not faced a side with the attacking quality of Argentina, who immediately put the Super Eagles under pressure.
But the "Fab Four" were on song against Nigeria, with a dominating attacking display led by Messi, who struck twice in the opening half and looked dangerous throughout.