Soccer Football – International Friendly – Russia vs Argentina – Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia – November 11, 2017 Argentina’s Lionel Messi in action with Russia’s Viktor Vasin REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Argentina’s forward, Lionel Messi has been dropped silent after the Super Eagles of Nigeria’s sterling performance in the Tuesday international friendly in Krasnodar, Russia.

Nigeria whipped ‘Messi-less’ Argentina 4-2 in the FIFA graded pre world cup match.
The Barcelona talisman who was excused from the match on a personal ground has however been silent 24 hours after his star studded national teammates loss woefully to the coach Gernor Rohr’s led Super Eagles.Though analysts and players across the world have commented about the six goal thriller match but none has been recorded from Lionel Messi and his teammates.

So sad that Sergio Aguero who scored the Argentine’s second goal, surprisingly fainted in the dressing room at half time, but there has been confirmation that the Manchester City ace has since recovered not after he was rushed to the hospital.

Argentine’s National Team Head Coach, Jorge Sampaoli in his post match reaction, however refused suggestions that if Messi had played they would have won, insisting that the players he had on the pitch should have done better.

This is what he said after the match, “We (Argentina) have to move away from being a one man team. Maybe the scoreline would have been different with Messi on the pitch, but it’s hard to say because we had enough quality in the team to win any game.”

“Nigeria were way better in the second half, they never stopped running and that made it hard for us to find any sort of rhythm going forward which they took advantage of to win. They did well to win,” Sampaoli said.

Super Eagles came from 0-2 deficit to hand over a memorable 4-2 defeat to the Argentines.

Super Eagles must remain humble, focused — Balogun

Meanwhile, a renowned sport analyst, Tayo Balogun, on Wednesday described Nigeria’s victory over Argentina in the friendly match at Krasnodar, Russia, as a major boost for the team’s preparations for the World Cup.

He said, “This will subsequently confer respectability on them. It follows that this will help the team if it does well in other games prior to the Wrlod Cup.

But he added that the team should stay focused ahead of the June 14, 2018 kick-off of the FIFA flagship tournament.

“Is our team complete? My answer is no.

“In the goalkeeping department we need to decide on the three that would go to Russia.

“Luckily, we have about 200 days to choose our best three. Our coach will of course still have to package Mikel Obi to ensure he remains free from injury and stays fit.

“This team needs all the experienced players it can have. In our attack we need one or two tall players with stride.

“I think Osimen should be checked up. The self-belief must be sustained in the type of friendly matches we play.

“My take is that we should be selective in matches we agree to play.

“More importantly the handlers must ensure that the team stays humble, focused, motivated and committed.

Balogun urged that the spirit of the nation must be infused in the team that played the friendly match against Argentina.

“Most importantly, the team’s technical bench must be left alone to do what they can to get us as far as possible in Russia,” he said

The Nation