June 24, 2018 / 3:02 PM / 24 days ago

FACTBOX-Soccer-Nigeria v Argentina

    ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 24 (Reuters) - Nigeria play
Argentina in a World Cup Group D match in Saint Petersburg on
Tuesday.
    Where: St Petersburg Stadium
    
    Capacity: 68,134
    
    When: Tuesday June 26, 2100 local (1800 GMT/1400 ET) 
    
    Referee: To be announced
    
    Key stats: 
    * To have any hope of progressing, Argentina must beat
Nigeria and also hope Iceland do not win against Croatia, as
that could send them home anyway, depending on goal difference. 
    * Victory for Nigeria's 'Super Eagles' would guarantee them
progress. A draw may also be enough even if Iceland beat
Croatia, depending on goal difference. 
    * Croatia are already through to the second round with two
wins, and look sure to come first in the group unless they lose
and Nigeria rack up a massive win against Argentina.  
    * Iceland must win to qualify, and hope that Nigeria lose or
that they pip them on goal difference if the Africans draw. 
    * Nigeria have been paired with Argentina five times in six
World Cups.
    * The group runner up will face the winners of Group C,
where France are currently top. The group winner will face Group
C's runner up, with Denmark currently occupying that spot.
    * Lionel Messi turns 31 on Sunday and may be playing in his
last World Cup. Many Argentines believe he needs to win it to
equal the greatness of Diego Maradona who took the 1986 trophy.
    * However, with Messi missing a penalty in the 1-1 draw with
Iceland then unable to stop a 3-0 drubbing by Croatia, he has
had a nightmare tournament so far. 
    * Nigeria are the only African team returning to the World
Cup finals after playing in Brazil four years ago. They have
advanced past the first round three times but never reached the
last eight – the benchmark of African achievement.
    
    Group D standings:
    
             MP   W    D    L   GF  GA  +/-  PTS
 CROATIA     2    2    0    0   5   0   5    6
 NIGERIA     2    1    0    1   2   2   0    3
 ICELAND     2    0    1    1   1   3   -2   1
 ARGENTINA   2    0    1    1   1   4   -3   1
      
    Previous meetings: The two sides have met eight times, with
five wins for Argentina, one for Nigeria and two draws.
Argentina beat Nigeria 3-2 at the last World Cup, but the
Africans got revenge with a 4-2 win in a 2017 friendly.

 (Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)
  
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