No MESSI, no victory for Argentina as they let a two goal lead slip away in 4-2 loss to Nigeria.
After picking up a 1-0 win against Russia, the team was without Lionel MESSI for the match against Nigeria. Despite no Messi, Jorge SAMPAOLI’s men got off to a solid start scoring twice in the first half. A free kick goal by Ever BANEGA was shortly followed by Sergio AGUERO’s second goal in two matches to make it 2-0 with very little left to go in opening 45 minutes. However, a free kick for the Nigerians resulted in a goal after back-up goalkeeper Agustin MARCHESIN was unable to keep it out.
The second half was one to forget. It started with Sergio AGUERO having to be substituted off after fainting in the dressing room (good news is that he is back with the team and feeling better). But it wasn’t the attack that should have worried SAMPAOLI as the midfield and more specifically the 3 man back line crumbled in the second 45 minutes. Three goals meant an Argentina loss and a first loss for Jorge SAMPAOLI as Argentina coach.
A worrying sight for SAMPAOLI is that without Lionel MESSI, this Argentina team looks fairly average.