Nigeria 2 - 0 Iceland: Musa too hot for Icelanders
Ahmed Musa scored twice as Nigeria bounced back from their opening defeat to beat Group D rivals Iceland 2-0.
Leicester forward Musa opened the scoring early in the second half and fired home another brilliant goal in the 75th minute to put Nigeria in control. Iceland’s Gylfi Sigurdsson missed an 83rd-minute penalty as Nigeria’s victory ensured they, Iceland and Argentina can all still qualify for the knockout stage with one game to play.
Nigeria lost their opening game 2-0 to Croatia while Iceland held Argentina to a 1-1 draw, and it was Heimir Hallgrimsson’s side who made the better start.
Sigurdsson’s early free-kick was well saved by Nigeria goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, who then gathered another effort from the Everton midfielder.
Both sides failed to carve out any further chances before Birkir Bjarnason just failed to latch on to Birkir Saevarsson’s excellent diagonal cross in the 37th minute. Iceland finished the first half on top, with Alfred Finnbogason firing wide following a fine cross from Sigurdsson.
Nigeria, for all their possession, did not have one shot on target in the first half.
The Super Eagles’ coach Gernot Rohr sent on Tyronne Ebuehi for fellow defender Brian Idowu during the interval and his side made a flying start to the second half. Victor Moses collected a headed clearance and burst down the right and his cross was brilliantly controlled in the penalty area by Musa, who lashed home to give Nigeria a 49th-minute lead.
Wilfred Ndidi’s effort was then saved by goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson as Iceland were rocked.
Nigeria were now full of running and Musa made and finished his second goal as the Super Eagles took control. The forward, whose curling effort rattled Iceland’s crossbar a minute earlier, raced into the penalty area and drew Halldorsson before firing home.
Iceland were handed a lifeline in the 80th minute following Ebuehi’s challenge on Finnbogason in the area.
Referee Matthew Conger consulted with VAR before awarding a penalty, but Sigurdsson sent his spot kick over the crossbar.
Finnbogason saw a late angled drive saved by Uzoho but time ran out for Iceland.