Nigeria's Ahmed Musa challenges Lionel Messi as Argentina hero

Rex Christensen
June 25, 2018

Lionel Messi and Argentina hit the training ground on Saturday with renewed hope of qualifying for the World Cup last 16.

Argentina have had a poor start to the World Cup in Russian Federation and will be eliminated should they fail to beat the Super Eagles on Tuesday night in Saint Petersburg.

The 2014 World Cup finalist's squad in his turmoil with Jorge Sampaoli under extreme pressure after a 3-0 loss to Croatia left Argentina on the brink of an early exit in Russian Federation.

"It is going to be a hard game for them, we have to fight together and do everything possible to beat them in that game despite they have good players and are a quality side".

In the group's other tie, Argentina and Nigeria will battle it out in what will be - barring an Iceland win - a "winner takes all" game.

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For Argentina, and the legions of fans who have made the huge journey across the world decked in blue-and-white number 10 Messi shirts and face masks, it is last chance saloon.

Ahmed Musa's classy brace in the Super Eagles' 2-0 defeat of World Cup debutants Iceland in Volgograd on Friday gave a below-par Lionel Messi-led La Albiceleste, who were on the verge of exit from Russian Federation 2018, a lifeline.

To do that, Messi and his team mates will have to improve on abject displays so far.

It had been suggested that 1986 World Cup victor Jorge Burruchaga, the team's technical director, would replace Sampaoli, but the claims were strongly denied by the Argentina Football Association (AFA).

Coach Jorge Sampaoli was roundly criticised for his approach against Croatia, sparking rumours the 58-year-old would be sacked during the tournament.

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