Argentina vs Nigeria
USA TODAY SPORTS

June 26 | Argentina squeaks into World Cup Round of 16

Another eight teams played their third and final group stage match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday. Four teams were eliminated, while the remaining four kept their World Cup dreams alive and moved on to the Round of 16. 

To advance to the knockout stage, Australia needed a win over Peru and for France to defeat Denmark. Unfortunately for the Socceroos, both outcomes failed to materialize. Peru beat Australia 2-0, while France versus Denmark ended as the first goalless game of the tournament. 

As a result, France topped Group C with seven points, and Denmark clinched runner-up position with five.

The day's most anticipated match came in the second set of simultaneous games. Many eyes were on Argentina taking on Nigeria, wondering if five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi would be able to lead his country to their first victory of this tournament and to qualify for the knockout round.

Messi started things off in classic fashion, netting a 14th minute goal to put Argentina ahead.

However, Nigeria's Victor Moses scored a penalty in the 51st minute to level the game. A last-gasp, 86th minute goal by the Argentinian side secured both the win and the qualification for the team. 

Croatia's 2-1 win over Iceland sealed the deal and ended the latter's hope for advancing. The Croatian team leads Group D with nine points, and Argentina follows with four points.

After Tuesday's team training, the Fire players watched the nail-biting Argentina game and reacted on social media.

If Tuesday's games were exciting, Wednesday's matchups are a must-watch. No teams in either Group E or F have punched their tickets to the next round -- even the Mexican side that won two out of two matches.

Here are June 27, Wednesday's games:

  • 9 AM CT: Mexico vs Sweden (Group F)
  • 9 AM CT: South Korea vs Germany (Group F)
  • 1 PM CT: Switzerland vs Costa Rica (Group G)
  • 1 PM CT: Serbia vs Brazil (Group G)

As more teams qualify for the Round of 16, stay tuned to the Chicago Fire World Cup Central for more news and features, also look out for Watch Party opportunities to join in the fun and follow the Fire social media hub for updates on the team.

Topics: