VOLGOGRAD, RUSSIA - Ahmed Musa gave Nigeria its first win at this year’s World Cup, and gave Argentina a gift.
Musa scored two second-half goals to help the Nigerians beat Iceland 2-0 Friday and move into second place in the group behind already-qualified Croatia.
Nigeria will face Argentina in its final group match on Tuesday in St. Petersburg. If Nigeria wins, it will advance to the round of 16. But if Argentina claims all three points, it can still advance depending on the result of the other match between Croatia and Iceland.
Musa, Nigeria’s all-time leading World Cup scorer with four goals, has played well against Argentina before. His two previous goals came at the 2014 tournament in Brazil in a group match against the two-time champions.
“It’s possible I’m going to score another two goals,” the 25-year-old Musa said.
On Friday, Musa gave Nigeria the lead in the 49th minute after Victor Moses sprinted deep into the Iceland half and curled a cross to the near post. Musa deftly controlled the ball before slamming it past Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson on the half-volley.
Nigeria nearly doubled its lead on several occasions, but Musa made it happen in the 75th minute. He picked up the ball on the left side of the Iceland penalty area, mazed his way past Halldorsson and picked his spot in the Iceland goal.
“I think the control made it more perfect for me,” said Musa, who hinted he wants to leave Premier League club Leicester and play for CSKA Moscow.
Nigeria nearly added to its lead on several occasions, including when Musa hit the crossbar with a curling shot.
Iceland, the smallest nation ever to compete in the World Cup, was not as effective as it had been against Argentina when it earned a surprise 1-1 draw.
In Kaliningrad, Switzerland came from behind to beat Serbia 2-1 as Xherdan Shaqiri scored in the 90th minute to secure a victory that moves the Swiss into contention in Group E.
Aleksandar Mitrovic had given Serbia the lead after five minutes but Granit Xhaka equalized in the second half before Shaqiri’s long-range winner put Switzerland equal with Brazil on four points.