Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Ahmed Musa scores twice to give Nigeria 2-0 win over Iceland

Ahmed Musa scores twice to give Nigeria 2-0 win over Iceland

Two delightful goals from the impressive Ahmed Musa secured Nigeria a first victory of the tournament and diminished Iceland's chances of making it into the last 16.

The new system certainly fostered more retention of possession, as Iceland were happy to sit off the Super Eagles, allowing them to dominate the ball, but for all their time with the ball at their feet, Nigeria failed to register a single shot at the Icelandic goal in the first half.

On Friday, Musa gave Nigeria the lead in the 49th minute after Victor Moses sprinted deep into the Iceland half and curled a cross to the near post.

He completed his brace few minutes later, after controlling a long pass and striding into the area to finish confidently. "We played against a very good team from Iceland who were better in the first half but did not score and we were better in the second half", Rohr added. Dressed in their blue Iceland shirts, they were ready to cheer their country's soccer miracle onto the next round.

Iceland had the opportunity to bounce back, with a penalty awarded following video review, but Gylfi Sigurdsson ballooned his 83rd-minute spot kick over the bar.

Ahmed Musa of Nigeria celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against Iceland in Volgograd.

Iceland can still throw a wrench into the final matchday proceedings with an upset of Croatia - which may be relying on reserves after already sealing a spot in the knockout stages - but the odds of Lionel Messi making a run into the knockout round received a huge boost with Nigeria's win Friday. Nigeria will join Croatia in the last 16 if they beat Argentina, and would also do so with a draw unless Iceland beat Croatia, in which case once more it will come down to goal difference and other tie-breakers.

With the game heavily poised in the second-half, as both teams were locked in a tense stalemate, Gunnarsson ordered the Icelandic defence up the field for one of his routine distributions into the box. Mark RALSTON / AFP Iceland's goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson (R) grabs the ball past Nigeria's forward Odion Jude Ighalo. Musa began the Croatia loss among the substitutes, but he is now certain to start next week's crunch clash with Argentina. "This is how this group is going to be played".

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