Gernot Rohr thinks Nigeria are ahead of schedule in team’s development

Related Stories 5 days ago Finnbogason makes history as Messi misses penalty

Related Stories 5 days ago Finnbogason makes history as Messi misses penalty

Nigeria's forward Ahmed Musa (L) celebrates with Nigeria's defender Leon Balogun after scoring their second goal during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Iceland at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd on June 22, 2018.

Nigeria roared to life in the second half after a boring opening 45 minutes, benefitting from two lovely goals from Ahmed Musa to see off Iceland.

The Super Eagles resurged with a brace from Ahmed Musa in the second half to beat Iceland 2-0 on Friday.

The Icelanders got a penalty in the 81st minute and Gylfi Sigurdsson, who stepped up to play the penalty kick, played it wide.

Iceland on the other hand forced Argentina to a 1-1 draw in their opening group game and will hope they can build up on that performance to ensure they stand a chance of reaching the second round of the competition in their debut appearance. Victor Moses collected a headed clearance and burst down the right and his cross was brilliantly controlled by Musa, who lashed home a 49th-minute lead.

Speaking in the post-match press conference - and quoted by Nigerian website Complete Sports - Hallgrimsson said: "It's a unusual fact that we are still in the race".

Referee Matthew Conger's decision to award Iceland a penalty following a VAR review - Tyronne Ebuehi was rightly penalized for clipping the heels of Alfred Finnbogason - could not even get Iceland on the scoresheet.

But Friday's win, in the heat of southern Russian Federation, leaves Nigeria in control of their destiny when they meet Argentina in their final game of Group D on Tuesday.

Musa, recalled to the starting team by coach Gernot Rohr, made it 2-0 in the 75th minute when he found space on the left, beat Iceland defender Kari Arnason and rounded goalkeeper Hannes Por Halldorsson before slamming the ball into the net.

The achievement of the Icelandic side can be put into perspective by the fact that the country has a population 556 times smaller than Nigeria, but as they showed in the 2016 European Championships and in qualifying for Russia, Iceland are not going to be intimidated by anyone, but neither are they going to be overconfident. Also, Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel played in a more defensive role in midfield, his presence helping to shore up the defence against Iceland's two-man forward line.

In the second half however, Nigeria burst into life and were bettering Iceland in every aspect of the game.

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.

Iceland can qualify if it beats Croatia in Rostov-on-Don on Tuesday in a match that takes place at the same time as the game between Nigeria and Argentina. "We know our strengths, and need to make the best of them", Hallgrimsson said in an interview with FIFA TV. "By the 95th minute we will know who carries the day and, by the grace of God, we are going to work very hard".

Iceland claimed a point in their first ever World Cup clash against Argentina.

Musa then struck the crossbar with a shot from distance before brilliantly scoring his second.

They had some good moments, and pounced on Argentina when they retrieved the ball.

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