World Cup Daily Recap: ARG tops Group F, FRA wins Group E

ARG, NGA advance out of Group F; FRA, SUI on from Group E

We’re two weeks into the World Cup and the excitement hasn’t yet stopped.

Here’s how Day 14 shook out: 

Nigeria 2-3 Argentina | Full Recap

Argentina’s Leo Messi and Nigeria’s Ahmed Musa put on a show in this one, both scoring a pair of goals in an entertaining 3-2 win for La Albiceste over the Super Eagles.

The result pushed Argentina to a perfect 3-0-0 in Group F, giving them top honors in the group. Despite the loss, Nigeria still qualified for the Round of 16, advancing by virtue of already-eliminated Bosnia-Herzegovina’s win over Iran.

Messi got things going early, slamming a rebound of an Angel Di Maria shot home to put Argentina up 1-0 in the third minute. Musa answered less than a minute later, running onto a pass on the left wing, cutting in on his right foot and curling a pretty shot inside the far post to make it 1-1.

Messi scored his fourth goal of the tournament to put Argentina up 2-1 in first half stoppage time, curling a free kick from the right side over the wall and into the top corner at the near post. Not a bad effort from the Barcelona star. Check it out:

Musa again ensured that Argentina didn’t have the lead long, scoring just two minutes into the second half to pull the Super Eagles level at 2-2. Argentina had the last word three minutes later, with Marcos Rojo scoring in the 50th minute to give La Albiceleste a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

As mentioned above, Argentina finished a perfect 3-0-0 and won Group F. They’ll play the Group E runner-up in the Round of 16 at 10 a.m. MT on Tuesday. Nigeria finished group play 1-1-1 and will take on the Group E winner – likely France – in the Round of 16 on Monday, also at 10 a.m. MT.  

Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-1 Iran | Full Recap

Iran could’ve made history on Wednesday, as Team Melli could’ve advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time in its history with a win over Bosnia-Herzegovina and some help from Argentina in its game against Nigeria.

Iran got the help it needed from Argentina, but it was Bosnia-Herzegovina making history on Tuesday, registering the first World Cup win in their country’s short history by taking down the Middle Eastern side 3-1.

Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic was the star for Bosnia-Herzegovina, registering an assist on Edin Dzeko’s 23rd minute opener before putting The Dragons up 2-0 with a 59th minute goal. Iran pulled one back through Reza Ghoochannejhad in the 82nd minute, but Bosnia quickly restored its two goal lead, with Avdija Vrsajevic scoring in the 83rd to make it 3-1.

Wednesday’s result moved Bosnia-Herzegovina to 1-2-0 in their first World Cup, placing them in third in Group F. Iran finished the group stage with a 0-2-1 mark, finishing in fourth in Group F. 

Ecuador 0-0 France | Full Recap

Ecuador needed a win against France on Wednesday to have any shot at advancing to the Round of 16.

Unfortunately, they fell flat on their face, not creating much in the attack and going down a man in the 59th minute when Captain Antonio Valencia was shown a deserved straight red card. France controlled most of the match, registering a slew of chances but struggling to put any of them away.

Wednesday’s result kept France undefeated in the group stage, giving Les Blues a first place finish in Group E with a 2-0-1 record. France will resume play on Monday, when they’ll take on Group F runner-up Nigeria at 10 a.m. MT in the Round of 16.

Ecuador will now head home as the only South American side not to qualify for the Round of 16. RSL forward Joao Plata’s home country finished the tournament with a 1-1-1 record.

Honduras 0-3 Switzerland | Full Recap

Switzerland star Xherdan Shaqiri turned in one of the performances of the World Cup on Wednesday, registering the tournament’s second hat trick in Switzerland’s 3-0 win over Honduras.

The win propelled the Swiss past Ecuador and into second place in Group E, advancing the European side to the Round of 16, where they’ll take on Group F winners Argentina on Tuesday.

Shaqiri got things going for the Swiss early, scoring a fine goal in the sixth minute to put his team up 1-0.

Shaqiri put Switzerland up 2-0 in the 31st minute, putting away a Josip Drmic ball to double the advantage. He completed his hat trick in the 71st minute, again firing home a Drmic ball to give the Swiss a 3-0 lead.

Honduras will now head home from the tournament, finishing their run at this World Cup with a 0-3-0 record.