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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun 25, 2014

Nigeria and Switzerland progress

Nigeria joined Argentina in progressing from Group F despite losing 3-2 following an impressive performance by Lionel Messi.

- Kelly: Messi lifts Argentina
- Delaney: Magical Messi continues to rise

Argentina found themselves ahead inside three minutes when Messi lashed into the roof of the net after Angel Di Maria's effort had ricocheted between the post and goalkeeper, but the lead lasted a matter of seconds as Ahmed Musa curled a shot beyond Sergio Romero at the other end.

NigeriaNigeria
ArgentinaArgentina
2
3
ESPN, ESPN3 FT
Match 43
Game Details

Argentina, who saw Sergio Aguero limp off during the first half, were back in front just before the break when Messi curled in a free kick, but Nigeria were again quick to respond, with Musa rounding off a neat move with a slick finish just after the restart.

Once more, though, the scoreline did not last long: Marcos Rojo used his knee to divert home a corner on 50 minutes to condemn the Super Eagles to defeat.

However, Nigeria held on to second place after Iran succumbed to a 3-1 loss to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

- Duerden: Bosnia win feels flat

Iran, who had not progressed beyond the first round in three previous World Cups, were still in with a chance of overtaking Nigeria and claiming second spot in Group F, but defeat to the Dragons -- who had already been eliminated -- saw them finish at the foot of the table.

Bosnia-HerzegovinaBosnia-Herzegovina
IranIran
3
1
ESPN2, ESPN3 FT
Match 44
Game Details

Safet Susic's side went ahead when Edin Dzeko drove towards the area before angling a shot into the bottom corner. Iran might have had an instant equaliser but Masoud Shojaei saw his shot cannon back off the underside of the crossbar and bounce clear of the goal.

On 59 minutes, it was 2-0 when some loose play allowed Tino Susic to play in Miralem Pjanic, who was able to pick his spot, and although Iran gave themselves hope of a late comeback on 82 minutes when Reza Ghoochannejhad pulled one back, Avdija Vrsajevic instantly restored his side's two-goal cushion to complete the win.

Xherdan Shaqiri scored all three goals as Switzerland saw off Honduras.

Switzerland set up a meeting with Argentina after progressing as Group E runners-up as Xherdan Shaqiri netted a hat trick in a 3-0 victory over Honduras.

- Shaw: Shaqiri seals Swiss progress

Shaqiri netted his first after only six minutes, finding space on the edge of the area before bending a shot into the top corner, and Josip Drmic then played the Bayern Munich man in for his second with half an hour gone.

HondurasHonduras
SwitzerlandSwitzerland
0
3
ESPN2, ESPN3 FT
Match 41
Game Details

The same duo combined for the third goal on 71 minutes, with Drmic producing some skill on the flank before setting up Shaqiri for his third.

France secured top spot in Group E with a goalless draw that saw 10-man Ecuador exit the competition.

Switzerland's victory meant Ecuador would have needed to win by two goals and, after seeing Antonio Valencia sent off early in the second half, it had never appeared a realistic prospect.

Les Bleus had the better of the first half but struggled to carve out chances, but -- with Switzerland 2-0 up by the break -- the pressure was firmly on their opponents, and Manchester United winger Valencia's red card for a dangerous tackle on Lucas Digne did nothing to help their chances.

EcuadorEcuador
FranceFrance
0
0
ESPN, ESPN3 FT
Match 42
Game Details

Nonetheless, the South Americans had their best chance of the game soon afterwards as Enner Valencia raced away on the break, but his pass to Christian Noboa was poor and, after the Dinamo Moscow man's first touch took the ball away from him, he fired wide of goal.

France had the better of the remainder of the game, but -- with Ecuador keeper Alexander Dominguez impressing -- neither side was able to break the deadlock and the spoils were shared.

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