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Iwobi dazzles, shocks Argentina in 2-4 victory

*Nigeria gets second win out of eight meetings

*Francis Uzoho got his clean debut

By Oluwole Francis

Arsenal’s lethal striker, Alex Iwobi, scored twice against two-time former World Cup winners Argentina to help the national team, the Super Eagles, recover from two goals down to win 4-2 in Krasnodar on Tuesday.

Sevilla of Spain midfielder Ever Banega and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero fired Argentina, playing without the rested Lionel Messi, into a 2-0 lead after 36 minutes.

Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho pulled one back on the stroke of half-time before Iwobi netted a second-half brace either side of a goal from Bryan Idowu to shock the South Americans.

Argentina, who beat Russia 1-0 in Moscow last Saturday at the same stadium that will host next year’s World Cup, left Messi out of Tuesday’s friendly following an agreement with Barcelona.

Banega delivered the opening goal on 28 minutes with a well-struck free-kick after Nigerian goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi was penalised for a handball outside his area. Argentina promptly doubled their advantage when Aguero, who scored the late winner over Russia, converted a right-wing cross by Cristian Pavon, the Boca Juniors winger making his first international start.

Nigeria, who went unbeaten throughout their World Cup qualifying campaign, refused to surrender and Iheanacho halved the deficit before the break with a 25-yard free-kick which was expertly tucked above the defence wall into the far corner of the post.

Iheanacho then found an unmarked Iwobi who equalised from close range on the 52nd minute, with Amkar Perm defender Idowu drilling Nigeria into a 3-2 lead moments later.

Francis Uzoho made a clean debut against Argentina
Francis Uzoho made a clean debut against Argentina

Argentina’s attempts to claw their way back into the match were ended when Iwobi grabbed his second goal on the dot of the 73rd minute, taking a pass from Ahmed Musa and hammering home to seal just a second win over Argentina in eight meetings.

An Argentine player had to be rushed to the hospital after the game. Reasons not yet known as at when we went to press with our report.

Goalkeeper Francis Odinaka Uzoho got his first cap in the team when he came in as substitute for fumbling and wobbling Akpeyi.

The Deportivo La Coruna first team goalkeeper’s debut ended well for him. During the Super Eagles first training in Russia he shone like a million star. Francis Uzoho was on the bench for the 1-1 draw against Algeria on Friday. Nineteen year old Uzoho impressed with his reading of ball across the box during his maiden outing against the Argentines.

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