Argentina, Messi win Group F
France wins group E with a 0-0 draw against Ecuador and Switzerland advances from the group for the first time since 2006. Group F winner Argentina is joined by Nigeria in the round of 16, who advance despite losing to the Albiceleste Wednesday.
Argentina is the fifth CONMEBOL team to advance, matching 2010 as the most ever in the round of 16 for the South American federation.
Here are five notes to know coming out of Matchday 14:
Argentina advances past the group stage for the eighth time in the last nine World Cups. Nigeria also advances despite the loss, earning a spot in the knockout round for the first time since 1998 and third time ever. Nigeria becomes the first African team to advance in this World Cup and the first ever to reach three total knockout rounds.
This was the first-ever World Cup game in which both teams scored in the opening five minutes. Ahmed Musa scored the quick answer to Messi's first goal, the fastest goal in Nigerian World Cup history. His second goal made him the first Nigerian with two goals in a single World Cup game and tied him with three others as Nigeria's all-time leading World Cup scorer.
Lionel Messi scored twice against Nigeria, giving him four goals in three games at this World Cup. He becomes the third Argentine with four goals in a World Cup group stage and just the second player for Argentina to score in all three group games at a single World Cup. His second goal of the game was the first free-kick goal for Argentina in a World Cup since the 1982 tournament. In his first two World Cup appearances (2006 and 2010), Messi had a single goal on 31 shots (14 on goal) over eight games. In this year's group stage, he has four goals on five shots on net.
Iran's 3-1 loss ensured that it does not advance for the fourth time in as many World Cup appearances. Asian teams remain winless at this tournament (0-8-3), with South Korea the AFC's last chance at a win Thursday against Belgium.
Bosnia-Herzegovina, the only debutant at this tournament, was already eliminated entering the game. Edin Dzeko scored his first-ever World Cup goal in the win, extending his country-high total to 36 international goals.
All three of Switzerland's goals in its 3-0 defeat of Honduras were scored by Xherdan Shaqiri. It was the 50th hat trick in World Cup history and second at this tournament (Thomas Muller had three against Portugal). Shaqiri is the second Swiss player with a World Cup hat trick and the first since Sepp Hugi netted three in the 1954 tournament.
Switzerland finishes the Group Stage with seven goals after scoring a total of five in its last two World Cup appearances combined.
France reaches the knockout round for the second time in the last three World Cups. Despite holding an in-form France team to a 0-0 draw, Ecuador is the only South American team that has been eliminated, having gone out in the group stage in two of its three World Cup appearances.
Ecuadorian keeper Alexander Dominguez had an outstanding game as he earned a clean sheet. His nine saves against France were the most in a game at this World Cup and his 18 saves in the group stage are a tournament-high.