Ahmed Musa struck both goals as Nigeria boosted their World Cup qualification hopes with a 2-0 defeat of Iceland, a result that is also good news for Argentina.
Lionel Messi's team were pushed to the brink of an early exit after a stunning 3-0 loss to Croatia on Thursday, but victory in their final Group D game against Nigeria could now send them through to the last 16.
Musa was left out of Nigeria's loss to Croatia but he justified his recall to the side with the opening goal shortly after the interval at the Volgograd Arena on Friday.
The forward controlled a cross from Victor Moses and thumped an unstoppable drive into the roof of the net, with Musa becoming the Super Eagles' top scorer in the history of the tournament courtesy of his third World Cup goal.
Nigeria were poor in the first half - failing to record a single shot - but they were much improved after the break, Musa adding another to his personal tally in the 75th minute as Iceland's rock-like resilience crumbled.
Iceland, who saw Gylfi Sigurdsson miss a late penalty, need to win to stand any chance of making the knockout stages, although even three points may not be enough depending on the outcome of Nigeria's clash with Argentina with all three teams still standing a chance to join Croatia in the last 16.
Gylfi Sigurdsson had tested Francis Uzoho with an early free-kick as Iceland made a bright start.
Iceland's star man then fired a sixth-minute chance straight at the teenage goalkeeper, who dealt with a string of corners as both sides struggled for fluency in midfield.
But Iceland almost took the lead in the last minute of the first half, Alfred Finnbogason unable to get a decisive touch on Gylfi Sigurdsson's dangerous free-kick delivered from the right wing.
Nigeria, in contrast, were unable to put any cohesive attacking moves together, meaning they became the first team at Russia 2018 to fail to record an attempt in the first half
They did test Hannes Thor Halldorsson just 14 seconds after the restart, with the goalkeeper easily saving from Oghenekaro Etebo, who had scored an own goal in his team's 2-0 defeat in Kaliningrad at the weekend.
However, the Super Eagles opened the scoring with their next attack in the 49th minute.
Moses led a rapid break down the right with his cross brilliantly collected by Musa, whose superb first touch took defender Ragnar Sigurdsson out of the equation. If Musa's first touch was good his second was even better, a lashed finish on the half-volley giving Halldorsson no chance.
Nigeria's confidence levels grew in the wake of the goal, Halldorsson having to be alert to tip over a deflected rifled drive from Wilfred Ndidi.
Musa rattled the crossbar as Nigeria pushed to seal all three points - and the striker would not be denied again in the 75th minute.
Fed by Kenneth Omeruo, Musa burst clear in the left channel, cut inside and slipped a calm finish past Halldorsson.
Nigeria survived a late scare after a VAR review spotted substitute Tyronne Ebuehi had tripped Finnbogason, with Gylfi Sigurdsson's spot-kick effort clearing the crossbar.
But a late injury to captain John Obi Mikel, who appeared to hurt his hand during six minutes of additional time, could be a concern for Gernot Rohr's side ahead of an all-or-nothing clash with Argentina.
Key Opta stats:
- All six of Nigeria’s World Cup wins have come against European opposition, and they have kept a clean sheet in five of those victories.
- This was Iceland’s first defeat in a group stage match at a major international tournament, having previously drawn three and won one of their four games.
- Ahmed Musa has scored each of Nigeria’s last four goals at the World Cup, having also bagged a brace in a 3-2 defeat to Argentina in 2014.
- Gylfi Sigurdsson fired in two shots on target in the first six minutes of this match, as many as his side managed in total in 90 minutes against Argentina
- This was only Nigeria’s second win in their last 14 matches at the World Cup (D3 L9), having also beating Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014.
17 de febrero 2019
|Ramos red card an ´occupational hazard´, says Solari|
|Dan Carter to make Racing 92 return|
|Ashton ruled out for Wales clash|
|Nuno hails cup win as ´moment of joy´|
|Marcelo v Reguilon: Real Madrid mainstay losing left-back battle|
|Marcelo is an institution - Eusebio denies targeting Real Madrid left-back|
|I´d rather surround myself with people I really like - Osaka explains coach split|
|We do not have to kill Real Madrid forever - Odriozola|
|Bristol City 0 Wolves 1: Cavaleiro repeats cup heroics|
|Blackburn Rovers 0 Middlesbrough 1: Assombalonga strengthens Boro´s play-off credentials|
|Coman restricted to light training ahead of Liverpool clash|
|Solari refuses to concede LaLiga title race is over|
|Courtois: Real Madrid could not control Girona|
|Weary Kvitova reflects on ´crushing´ start to 2019|
|Umtiti in Barcelona squad to face former club Lyon|
|It´s hard to take - Maxwell laments Stars´ stunning Big Bash defeat|
|Pogba: Manchester United emulating ´Class of 92´|
|Real Madrid 1 Girona 2: Stuani and Portu seal stunning comeback|
|Boult, Mahmudullah fined by ICC|
|Neymar Senior: No chance of PSG star facing Manchester United|
|Broad expects sledging to subside in 2019 Ashes|
|Aguero targets historic quadruple|
|Scholes backs Solskjaer for Man United job|
|Finch hails ´special´ Renegades comeback|
|Sydney FC 1 Central Coast Mariners 1: Le Fondre strike averts shock defeat|
|Fox soars in Perth final to win World Super 6|
|Williams delay start to pre-season testing|
|Renegades crowned BBL champions after stunning Stars collapse|
|What we learned from NBA All-Star Saturday|
|Kaepernick´s attorney tips Patriots to make move for QB|
|Tebow: I told Murray to follow his heart|
|Mourinho created unhealthy atmosphere – Sanchez|
|Santa Cruz defends belt against Rivera|
|Opelka, Isner set ATP Tour record at New York Open|
|Diallo soars over Shaq to win Slam Dunk contest|
|WATCH: Diallo dunks over Shaquille O´Neal|
|Silver: NBA trade requests should stay behind closed doors|
|´It´s more of an aspiration´ – LeBron clears up potential NBA ownership|
|Harris wins Three-Point contest ahead of Curry|
|Thomas leads rain-delayed Genesis Open|
|Tatum wins NBA Skills Challenge with stunning half-court shot|
|Robben: Anfield is the worst stadium|
|Valverde not nervous about Messi penalties after spot-kick miss|
|Sanchez ´worried´ amid Man United struggles|
|Schoeman hat-trick sees Lions past Jaguares|
|Piatek lives to score goals - Milan striker´s brilliant double pleases Gattuso|
|Lyon will punish Barca in this form, Pique warns|
|Guardiola lauds Silva´s ´incredible´ FA Cup performance|
|Clermont hit the top, Perpignan finally win|
|Schwartzman saves match point to down Thiem in Buenos Aires|
16 de febrero 2019
|Leinster withstand Zebre test as Connacht claim big win|
|Antonio Brown: Roethlisberger has owner mentality and you can´t call him out|
|Pizarro becomes Bundesliga´s oldest ever goalscorer|
|Wawrinka ends 20-month wait for final to book Monfils showdown|
|Barcelona 1 Real Valladolid 0: Hit and miss as Messi gets job done|
|Atalanta 1 AC Milan 3: Two-goal Piatek lands blow in fight for fourth|
|NBA, FIBA link up to start 12-team league in Africa|
|Guardiola proud of ´incredible´ City after Newport win|
|Worst pitch I´ve played on - Manchester City hero Foden unimpressed with Newport surface|
|LeBron James, Derek Jeter lead praise for retiring Yankees legend CC Sabathia|
|Durant happy for Porzingis but guarded on his own future|
|Newport County 1 Manchester City 4: Foden nets brace as upset is averted|
|Simeone plans Griezmann, Costa, Morata trident|
|Stephen Curry reveals three-point contest bet with brother Seth|
|Celtics, Lakers, Knicks on Anthony Davis´ list, along with 26 others|
|Mertens fights back to defeat Halep for her biggest WTA title|
|Championship Review: Norwich hit four as Baggies & Blades cruise|
|Sala mourned at funeral in Argentina|
|Costa thrilled to make Atletico return at old club Rayo|
|Specman´s spectacular debut double leads Bulls in Stormers thrashing|