ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Lionel Messi and Argentina finally came alive at the World Cup.
Messi scored an exquisite 14th-minute goal to give the two-time champions the lead Tuesday, but it wasn’t until Marcos Rojo’s 86th-minute strike that Argentina was assured of a place in the round of 16.
Victor Moses scored a penalty in the 51st minute for Nigeria, putting Argentina in danger of being eliminated without winning a match in Russia.
It took an unlikely goal by Rojo to save Argentina and give it second place in Group D.
Digeo Maradona, in the stands at the St. Petersburg Stadium, celebrated both goals wildly.
Argentina will play France in the last 16 in Kazan on Saturday.