MOSCOW — Nigeria has defeated Iceland 2-0 to revive its hopes of advancing into the knockout stages of the World Cup in Russia, as striker Ahmed Musa dramatically marked his return to the team with two fine second-half goals.
After a goalless first half, Musa scored a brace in the second half to take Nigeria to second in the Group D standings, behind already qualified Croatia.
Musa gave the African nation the lead with counter-attacking goal early in the 49th minute and increased the lead with a brilliant solo goal in the 75th minute.
It was a forgettable day for Iceland, and a missed penalty by Gylfi Sigurdsson added more misery for them. The result gave Lionel Messi-led Argentina too as they are very much in contention for the knock-outs now.
The result left both sides, and struggling Argentina, still in the hunt to go through from Group D along with already-qualified Croatia.
But Argentina and World Cup debutants Iceland have to win their respective games against Nigeria and Croatia next week to have a chance of advancing.
Roared on by thousands of fans from the tiny country, Iceland kept pushing and was awarded a penalty in the 80th minute when referee Matt Conger used the Video Assisted Referee (VAR) system to confirm that striker Alfred Finnbogason had been fouled by Tyronne Ebuehi.Follow @gorkhapost
France beats Croatia 4-2 to clinch 2nd World Cup title
MOSCOW — France has clinched its second FIFA World Cup title after beating Croatia 4-2 in the finals in Moscow on Sunday in the highest-scoring final since 1966.
France led 2-1 at halftime courtesy of the first own-goal and the first video-reviewed penalty in a World Cup final. The own-goal off the top of Mario Mandzukic’s head was the 12th of the tournament.
Argentine referee Nestor Pitana initially didn’t call the handball but awarded the spot kick after a video review – the first time in a World Cup final. Antoine Griezmann converted the penalty to put France back in front.
Croatia rallied to equalize with a terrific left-foot strike by Ivan Perisic; however France took the lead right back when Perisic handled the ball in his own penalty area.
The match was temporarily disrupted when four pitch invaders ran onto the field in the 52nd minute before being dragged away by security and police.
Punk rock group Pussy Riot quickly claimed responsibility for the pitch invasion via social media, saying it was a protest aimed at ending illegal arrests of protesters and to allow political competition in Russia.
Play resumed and France quickly took a 4-1 lead with goals from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe in the 59th and 65th minutes.
Croatia was playing in its first World Cup final. For France, it was a first World Cup crown since winning on home soil in 1998.Follow @gorkhapost