It’s matchday two in Group D of the FIFA World Cup 2018 as Nigeria and Iceland go head to head at Volgograd Arena in the south-west corner of Russia.
Despite being overwhelming underdogs, the Icelandic Vikings dug deep and came away with a 1-1 draw against five-time WC finalists Argentina. Furthermore, despite having to withstand heavy pressure for long periods, Lionel Messi (and his team) were denied many clear-cut chances.
Regardless of that result, this game is a must-win for Iceland. Should they lose or draw this one they will head into the last round of matches at least one point behind Croatia (who finished behind Iceland in the WC qualifiers), who comprehensively beat Nigeria 2-0 in their first match.
Highlights of Nigeria vs Iceland:
#CRO are guaranteed to be Group D winners, but who will join them?June 22, 2018
# The referee blows the FULL TIME whistle and what a win for Nigeria! And apart from that Argentina fans and players would be surely hoping to have a good game and qualify to the last 16. They are still alive! FULL TIME: Nigeria 2-0 Iceland!
# 90+5' John Obi Mikel (Nigeria) hasn't suffered any serious injury which would see him leave the pitch. He's back in the game now.
# 90+4' Looks like John Obi Mikel (Nigeria) is struggling after picking up a knock. Hopefully he can run it off.
# The fourth official shows 6 min. of added time.
# 88' Francis Uzoho pulls off a great save to deny Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland) who, makes himself some space inside the box and unleashes a quick low drive towards the middle of the goal.
# 87' Heimir Hallgrimsson has decided to introduce fresh legs, with Ari Skulason (Iceland) replacing Aron Gunnarsson.
# 86' Birkir Saevarsson (Iceland) attempts to find the head of one of his teammates with a promising cross into the box, but a defender outjumps the attackers and averts the threat.
# 84' Here's the change. Kelechi Iheanacho leaves the pitch and Odion Ighalo (Nigeria) comes on as a substitute.
# 81' MISS! Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) misses the penalty! His poor effort goes well over the crossbar.
# Penalty to Iceland!
# 81' There's a break in play and referee Matthew Conger must have got a signal in his ear as he indicates he will check that earlier penalty claim by Iceland using VAR. This could be interesting!
# 78' Oghenekaro Etebo (Nigeria) whips in the corner, but one of the defending players gets a head on it and intercepts
# 78' Oghenekaro Etebo (Nigeria) passes the ball from the edge of the box in order to find his teammate, who is in a good scoring position, but the defender blocks the pass and spanks the ball to safety. Nigeria force their opponents to concede a corner.
# 77' Dangerous play by Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland). Matthew Conger blows his whistle for a foul.
MUSA x2!June 22, 2018
# 75' GOAL! Ahmed Musa (Nigeria) makes a great solo run and pulls the trigger from inside the box, beating Hannes Halldorsson with a strike into the right side of the goal. He makes it 2:0.
# 74' What a great touch by Ahmed Musa (Nigeria)! He picks up a precise pass inside the box and immediately produces a shot towards the net. Unfortunately for him, his bullet only crashes against the crossbar.
# 72' CHANCE! Leon Balogun (Nigeria) watches the corner all the way, but places his header just over the bar from close range.
# 71' Victor Moses (Nigeria) dinks a cross into the box in an attempt to find one of his teammates, but the defence manages to clear. Nigeria get a corner.
# 70' Ahmed Musa (Nigeria) goes on a solo run, but he fails to create a chance as an opposition player blocks him. The referee signals a corner kick to Nigeria.
# 68' CLOSE! Rurik Gislason (Iceland) shows off his amazing skills with a solo run to the edge of the box before fashioning a shot that whistles over the bar.
# 65' CHANCE! Victor Moses (Nigeria) smashes the ball towards goal from the edge of the penalty box, but his effort flies just a few inches wide of the right post.
# 64' Ragnar Sigurdsson will be replaced by Sverrir Ingi Ingason (Iceland).
# 62' Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) sends the free kick into the box, but the goalkeeper reads it well and makes a good save.
# 62' Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria) should know this behaviour is beyond the rules. He was too careless with his challenge and left Matthew Conger no option but to blow his whistle. It's a free kick to Iceland, but they probably won't attempt a direct shot on goal from here.
# 60' Rurik Gislason (Iceland) robs an opponent of the ball and explodes in anger when Matthew Conger blows for a foul.
# 59' The resulting corner, taken by Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland), comes to nothing.
# 58' A pass into the penalty area from Hordur Magnusson (Iceland) is intercepted by the defence. The referee points to the corner flag and Iceland will take a corner.
# 58' A fine lofted pass into the box, sent by Birkir Saevarsson (Iceland), is intercepted by the opposition's defence.
# 57' Oghenekaro Etebo (Nigeria) takes the corner with a short pass.
# 57' SAVE! Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria) collects a simple pass and decides to shoot from distance. It's a swerving effort aimed towards the roof of the net, but Hannes Halldorsson reads it well and makes a comfortable save. The ball is out of play and the linesman points at the corner flag. Corner to Nigeria.
# 53' Ragnar Sigurdsson (Iceland) is moving okay again after that injury scare.
# 49' Ragnar Sigurdsson (Iceland) is lying on the ground after being tackled and the physio comes onto the pitch to give him medical treatment.
GOAL FOR #NGAJune 22, 2018
# 49' GOAL! Ahmed Musa (Nigeria) finds some space inside the box to meet a beautiful cross and fires the ball into the middle of the goal. What a wonderful strike! Nigeria 1-0 Iceland!
# 47' Hannes Halldorsson gets a well deserved ovation! He pulls off a remarkable save to block a long-range effort from Oghenekaro Etebo (Nigeria) towards the left side of the target. Nice goalkeeping skills!
# 45' Gernot Rohr makes a half-time substitution. Tyronne Ebuehi (Nigeria) comes on in place of Bryan Idowu.
# Second half begins!
# Players are back on the pitch and the second half is about to begin!
# Argentina fans in the stadium!
# The end of the first half. Join us for the second half! It has been an excellent tactical battle so far!
# 45+2' Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) goes over to take a corner kick after one of the defenders makes a good clearance.
# 45+2' Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) sends a cross into the box, but the opposition's defence clears the ball to safety. The ball is out of play. A goal-scoring opportunity from a corner for Iceland.
# 2 min. of stoppage-time to be played.
# 44' Bryan Idowu (Nigeria) violates the rules and gets a yellow card.
# 43' Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria) swings the ball into the box from the corner kick but it's a bit too strong and it goes out of play.
# 43' Victor Moses (Nigeria) sends a lofted cross into the penalty area. Unfortunately for him, the opponent's defence deals with his cross comfortably and intercepts it. Corner kick. Nigeria will have an opportunity.
# 42' Ahmed Musa (Nigeria) was too forceful with his tackle and Matthew Conger interrupted the game to signal a free kick.
# 40' The linesman raises his flag for offside before Ahmed Musa (Nigeria) heads on.
# 40' Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria) swings a cross into the box, but it's far too close to Hannes Halldorsson, who smothers the ball.
# 38' Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria) floats the free kick into the box, but it's easily cleared by the first man. Corner kick. Nigeria will have an opportunity.
# 37' Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria) will take the free kick.
# 37' Hordur Magnusson (Iceland) pulls the shirt of his opponent and the referee stops play for a foul. Nigeria have a free kick.
# 37' Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland) commits a foul and Matthew Conger immediately signals a free kick.
# 34' Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland) gets himself into a promising goalscoring position, but he blazes the ball high over the crossbar.
# 32' Rough tackle by Ahmed Musa (Nigeria). The referee blows his whistle for a foul.
# 31' A crossfield pass from Oghenekaro Etebo (Nigeria) fails to find any of his teammates.
# 31' Ragnar Sigurdsson (Iceland) commits a rough foul. Matthew Conger stops the game and makes a call.
# 29' William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria) sends a long ball across the pitch, but it misses its target.
# 26' Ahmed Musa (Nigeria) delivers a lovely cross into the penalty area. Nevertheless, an opposition defender is alert and averts the danger with a brilliant clearance.
# 22' Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) steps up to take the corner, but the ball just sails in among the defenders.
# 21' Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) puts a cross into the box from the corner but there is no panic from the opposition and they easily clear. Good work from Iceland as they win a corner.
# 20' Birkir Bjarnason (Iceland) finds himself free inside the box and pulls the trigger, but his effort is brilliantly stopped by one of the defending players. The ball is out of play. Iceland win a corner kick.
# 18' Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria) whips the ball in, but it fails to reach any of his teammates as the opposition's defence averts the threat.
# 15' Matthew Conger blows his whistle for a foul after John Obi Mikel (Nigeria) hacks down one of his opponents.
# Viking clap is raising the temperature here!
# 11' Rurik Gislason (Iceland) trips an opponent with a slide tackle. Matthew Conger stops the game and he could give him a card, but eventually decides on just a warning.
# Poll results!
FIVE MINUTE POLL!
Simple question: what will happen in #NGAISL?— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 22, 2018
# 7' The resulting corner from Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria) is cleared by the defence.
# 7' Victor Moses (Nigeria) attempts to find one of his teammates with a sweet pass into the box, but one of the defending players reacts well and intercepts the effort. Nigeria will have a chance to score from a corner kick.
# 6' Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) receives a low pass just outside the box and unleashes a fine strike towards the middle of the goal. Francis Uzoho pulls off a reflexive save to block his effort. Nice goalkeeping skill, indeed.
# 5' Rurik Gislason (Iceland) makes a driving run into the box but he cannot work any space for a shot.
# 3' Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) attempts to find a teammate with the corner, but the effort is snuffed out by the goalkeeper.
# 3' CHANCE! Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) stands over the free kick and opts to take it himself, sending it towards the left post only for Francis Uzoho to dive and make a save. The ball goes behind for a corner. Iceland will have an opportunity to threaten the opposition's goal.
# 2' Aron Gunnarsson (Iceland) sends the ball into the penalty area from a throw-in as if it's a corner kick.
# Many Argentine fans must be watching this match as their fate depends on today's result!
# Kick off!
# Today's referee will be Matthew Conger.
# The players are out on the pitch and the national anthems start!
# Nigeria’s record from their three last WC appearances reads: W1, D4, L6.
# Players to watch: Ahmed Musa is ‘on home turf’ in Russia, and finished the club season with six goals in six matches for CSKA. While, Striker Alfred Finnbogason scored Iceland’s goal against Argentina, and has now found the net in three straight international matches
# Stat attack: This is the first meeting between these nations. Nigeria have lost four of their last five against European teams
Complete the caption:June 22, 2018
Nigeria Playing XI: Uzoho, Omeruo, Balogun, Ekong, Idowu, Etebo, Ndidi, Moses, Mikel, Musa, Iheanacho
Iceland Playing XI: Halldorsson, Saevarsson, Arnason, R. Sigurdsson, Magnusson, Gunnarsson, G. Sigurdsson, Bjarnason, Gislason, Bodvarsson, Finnbogason
Welcome to Volgograd!
The teams are ready for #NGAISL - are you?
TV listings 👉 https://t.co/xliHcxWvEO— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) June 22, 2018
Okay - now for Match 2!June 22, 2018
Welcome to News Nation live coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2018! In the second match of the day, Nigeria lock horns with Iceland and Argentina's fate lie on the Group D clash.