Argentina misses Messi in friendly loss to Nigeria

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli rested Lionel Messi following their 1-0 win over Russian Federation on Saturday and it seemed that they could cope without him as Ever Banega and Sergio Aguero put them in control.

Nigeria's Super Eagles face their Argentine counterparts in a high profile friendly tie today at the Krasnodar Stadium in Russian Federation.

However, Rohr said there is still a lot of work for his team to do ahead of the World Cup.

Banega curled in a free kick, awarded after Nigeria goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi picked the ball up outside his area, in the 28th minute and Aguero finished off a sweeping counter-attack eight minutes later.

But Kelechi Iheanacho inspired Nigeria's fightback.

Alex Iwobi later doubled his efforts with a cool finish in the 73rd minute doing a nutmeg on Barcelona's Javier Mascherano.

The Confederation of African Football will meet soon to discuss a proposal for the African teams who have qualified for next year's World Cup finals to play friendlies during the FIFA internationals window in March, a Nigerian football official confirmed today.

Ihenacho scored a superb free-kick on 44 minutes of the first half to reduce the tally to 2-1. This will be their first game against a non-African side since they played Luxembourg in May past year.

  • Angelo Rivera