Argentina head coach Jorge Sampaoli praised his players bravery after Marcos Rojo’s late winning goal saw his side scrape a narrow 2-1 win over Nigeria
Argentina had endured a humiliating start to the tournament, drawing with Iceland in their opening game, before suffering a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Croatia, which left Argentina’s hopes of progressing in the tournament dangling by a thread.
However, Jorge Sampaoli’s side were much improved in the first half against Nigeria and took a deserved lead through Lionel Messi – though a poor second half showing allowed Nigeria back into the game, until Rojo popped up to volley home in the 86th minute.
“My players achieved a victory which is very important for the future,” Sampaoli told reporters in his post-match press conference (via Sports Mole). “It’s a good opportunity.
“The players knew that they are excellent players and they wanted to show that. Today they won against an excellent opponent. We fought until the very last minute.
“We realised Nigeria had enough with a draw so we made many changes, trying to create opportunities. The players were brave and that courage made the second goal possible.”