The Norman Transcript

Sports

June 26, 2014

Messi lifts Argentina to top of Group F

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil — Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2 in the last World Cup Group F match on Wednesday, with Lionel Messi and Ahmed Musa scoring two goals each before Marcos Rojo kneed in the winner.

Argentina topped the group and Nigeria also advanced despite the loss, becoming the first African team in the Round of 16 in Brazil.

Messi had his best match of the World Cup so far, scoring twice in the first half to boost his tournament total to four goals, and repeatedly cutting up Nigeria’s defense with dazzling runs and clever passes.

Switzerland 3, Honduras 0: MANAUS, Brazil — Xherdan Shaqiri scored all three goals Wednesday to put Switzerland into the second round of the World Cup with a lopsided victory over Honduras.

The Swiss will next face Lionel Messi and Argentina on Tuesday in Sao Paulo.

Shaqiri scored his first goal in the sixth minute, dribbling into a crowd of defenders and curling a shot into the net off the underside of the crossbar. In the 31st, he collected a pass from Josip Drmic after a defensive error and easily beat Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares.

France 0, Ecuador 0: RIO DE JANEIRO — France topped Group E despite being held to a scoreless draw by 10-man Ecuador.

Ecuador was reduced to 10 men after Antonio Valencia was shown a straight red card in the 50th minute for digging his studs into the leg of French defender Lucas Digne.

Bosnia-Herzegovina 3, Iran 1: SALVADOR, Brazil — Bosnia-Herzegovina ended Iran’s hopes of advancing to the knockout stages from Group F, and registered its first World Cup win in the process.

The Bosnians, who were already out of contention, took a commanding 2-0 lead with goals from Edin Dzeko in the 23rd and Miralem Pjanic in the 53rd before Iran hit back in a desperate late bid to qualify for the second round.

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