published Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

World Cup: Argentina beats Nigeria, both teams advance; Iran sent packing by Bosnia win

Argentina beats Nigeria 3-2 as both teams advance

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

Argentina won Group F while 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.

"We played against a team that wanted to play," Messi said. "I think we saw a good Argentina. We need to continue on this path."

Bosnia defeats Iran 3-1 in Group F

Bosnia-Herzegovina ended Iran's hopes of advancing to the knockout stages with a 3-1 victory in Group F on Wednesday, registering its first World Cup win in the process.

The Bosnians, who were already relegated from the tournament, 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.

Reza Ghoochannejhad gave some hope to the Iranians with a tap-in goal in the 81st, but Avdija Vrsaljevic replied immediately with his low shot from the edge of the area to restore the two-goal lead.

Iran needed a win to have any chance of advancing.

"Sorry to our opponents, but this was also an important win for us so we could hold our heads up high leaving this tournament," Bosnia-Herzegovina coach Safet Susic said. "Throughout the match we were those who wanted to win more."

The Bosnians were already out of contention at their first World Cup following consecutive losses to Argentina and Nigeria.

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