Lionel Messi turned 27 on Tuesday and decided to celebrate on Wednesday against Nigeria. Having already scored Argentina’s opening goal in the third minute, he added to that total and grabbed back the lead with a gorgeous free kick during first half stoppage time:
You can see the defeat in Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama as he takes his first step, realizing there was no way he would get to that ball.
Argentina would end up winning the match 3-2 and taking the top spot in Group F. They'll play a knockout round match next Tuesday against the second-place finisher in Group E.
That’s now four goals in three matches for Messi, tying Neymar for the World Cup lead. According to ESPN, he’s also the first Argentinian player to score in all three group stage matches since 1958.
Messi's performance clearly impressed Nigerian manager Stephen Keshi, who had this to say afer the match:
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