Lionel Messi’s first goal in World Cup 2018 was the tournament’s 100th

first_imgLionel Messi not only played an important part in Argentina’s 2-1 victory over Nigeria on Tuesday but also achieved an unique personal milestone in St. Petersburg.Messi, who scored in the 14th minute of Argentina’s last Group D fixture of this year’s World Cup against Nigeria, netted the 100th goal of this year’s World Cup in Russia. Spain’s Iniesta (2010) and Brazil’s Neymar (2014) scored the century goal in the previous two occasions.Not only that, Messi’s goal at St. Petersburg made him score at 100 different venues now for club and country included. Messi’s strike against the Super Eagles was his third against the African nation. He had scored a brace in 2014 against them in a match that Argentina won 3-2 in Estadio Beira-Rio.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEMessi’s strike was also his first World Cup goal in 662 minutes of football, his last previous World Cup goal came against Nigeria as well back in 2014.This was also the Barcelona forward’s first goal of this year’s tournament. Messi scored an exquisite 14th-minute goal to give the two-time champions the lead in a must-win game. His 65th international goal owed as much to Ever Banega’s long, driven pass over the defence as the forward’s exquisite control on his left thigh, another touch with his left foot, and then a cool right-footed finish into the corner. As Messi fell to his knees and pointed his fingers upward in celebration before being mobbed by teammates. Lionel Messi scored his first World Cup goal after 662 minutes (Reuters Photo)His goal however was canceled out when Javier Mascherano gave away the penalty with a pull on Leon Balogun at a 49th-minute corner. Moses converted to put Nigeria back in control of the race for second place in the group.advertisementBoth the teams missed several chances in the second half and the game was poised for a draw until Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo cropped up in Nigeria’s final third and struck the ball past a young Francis Uzoho to give them the lead in the 86th minute. After a few hiccups and Croatia’s 2-1 win over Iceland in Rostov, La Albicelestes finally ended the game with their noses in front and therefore, qualified as the second team from their group.FIFA WORLD CUP: FIXTURES | POINTS TABLE20142018Marcos Rojo loves a winner against Nigeria at the #WorldCupTV listings World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 26, 2018Incidentally, Rojo’s goal on Tuesday, was also his second against Nigeria. The other one came in the 2014 World Cup.Argentina, who made their fourth consecutive World Cup pre-quarters, will next face France on June 30 in Kazan while first-placed Croatia will take on Denmark.last_img read more