World Cup: Iceland v Nigeria

After their draw with Argentina, Iceland can take a big step towards the last 16 in Volgograd

Patrick Madden Fri, Jun 22
LIVE: World Cup: Iceland v Nigeria

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  • 15:27

    Good afternoon!

    Welcome to our coverage of Nigeria's clash with Iceland in Volgograd (kick-off 4.0).

    Gernot Rohr's Super Eagles were taught a bit of a football lesson in their Group D opener against Croatia - a result which has however been put into perspective after the 3-0 hammering Luka Modric and co dished out to Lionel Messi's Argentina last night.

    Rohr has built a dynamic, youthful Nigerian side around a number of familiar faces from the Premier League - they need to spread their wings this afternoon.

    Iceland meanwhile continue to punch above well above their weight (incase you didn't know, they have a tiny population of just 334,000!), and they started their maiden World Cup campaign with a draw against Argentina.

    Heimir Hallgrímsson's side are well-drilled and entirely dedicated - even if they lack a bit of sparkle up front.

    For both of these sides, victory will leave them with legitimate hopes of making it into the last-16 - and that would represent a serious achievement.

    The sun might be shining, but being outside during the World Cup is massively overrated. Here's to a good one.

    Come on!!!

  • 15:29
  • 15:30
    If Neymar is acting like that after beating Costa Rica in the group stages, can you imagine how insufferable he's going to be if they get near the final? Jeeze.
  • 15:33


    Nigeria: Uzoho, Omeruo, Troost-Ekong, Balogun, Moses, Etebo, Mikel, Ndidi, Idowu, Musa, Iheanacho. Subs: Ezenwa, Echiejile, Ighalo, Abdullahi, Simy, Obi, Onazi, Iwobi, Ogu, Awaziem, Ebuehi, Akpeyi.

    Iceland: Halldorsson, Saevarsson, Arnason, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Magnusson, Gislason, Gunnarsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Bjarnason, Bodvarsson, Finnbogason. Subs: Schram, Fridjonsson, Albert Gudmundsson, Ingason, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Sigurdarson, Eyjolfsson, Olafur Ingi Skulason, Hallfredsson, Traustason, Ari Freyr Skulason, Runarsson.

    Referee: Matthew Conger (Australia)

  • 15:37
    You can get intimate with the Super Eagles HERE and read all about Iceland HERE.
  • 15:48

    Interesting dilemna for Iceland today. It's one thing sitting in and trying to keep Messi at bay, but Nigeria are a different proposition. Plus, three points will put them on the brink of qualification - so the incentive to have a go is there.

    And that could play into Nigeria's hands. Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho comes into the starting line-up today, as does his club team mate Ahmed Musa. Odion Ighalo and Alex Iwobi are both dropped.

    Iwobi is a weird one. He always looks very tidy, but I'm not sure I've ever seen him do anything to really impact the course of a game.

  • 15:51

    The teams are in the tunnel in Volgograd.

    As Nigeria are the 'home' side today, we finally get to see that brilliant kit.

  • 15:51
  • 15:52
    Which is modelled by Victor Moses in that picture.
  • 15:55
    They're going through the anthems in a sunny St Petersburg.
  • 15:58
    Three at the back for Nigeria - Moses and Idowu picked as wingbacks. Expect Moses to be heavily inolved.
  • 16:00

    Australian referee Matthew Conger has the whistle ready, Iceland to kick off.


  • 16:01
    1 min: First long throw from Gunnarsson into the box. He gets it towards the penalty spot where it's cleared.
  • 16:03

    2 min: Nigeria can't clear properly from the throw and Arnason clearly handles the ball as he jumps for it on the edge - but he's awarded a free-kick, push in the back from Idowu.

    Gylifi Sigurdsson gets it up and over the wall but 19-year-old 'keeper Uzoho makes a good save for the cameras. Iceland corner.

  • 16:03
    3 min: And then Uzoho comes to claim the corner kick. Early nerve settlers.
  • 16:05
    4 min: Crisp spell of possession for Nigeria - Iceland keeping their shape diligently. Iceland then break down the left and Gislason wants a free kick after he's challenged by Balogun - nothing doing.
  • 16:06
    6 min: Huge chance for Iceland. Long ball and Finnbogason plays it inside for Sigurdsson who has a free shot on the edge. He looks to open his body and curl it into the far corner but it's too close to Uzoho.
  • 16:08
    7 min: Good switch to Moses who runs at Magnusson and wins a corner. It's cleared by Iceland but Nigeria have a throw inside the final third. They go long to Omeruo but his tame header is easy for Halldorsson.
  • 16:09
    9 min: Neat turn from Iheanacho and he drives at Iceland, knocking it past Arnason and going to ground - no foul.  
  • 16:09
  • 16:14
    13 min: Nigeria are enjoying plenty of the ball but they can't quite get it going in the final third. The first Viking clap of the afternoon rings around St Petersburg. Only slightly preferable to the vuvuzela.
  • 16:15
    14 min: Gunnarsson with another long throw from the left - it's flicked on but Nigeria clear. This is even so far.
  • 16:17
    16 min: First glimpse for Nigeria and it stems from a long Moses ball to Iheanacho down the right. It's crossed from the left towards Musa and he can't get ahead of his man - but the Super Eagles have Iceland penned in.
  • 16:18
    17 min: Iceland are going to prove a tough nut to crack here. Who backed the draw?
  • 16:19
    19 min: Good change of pace from Moses on the right and he tries to play in Musa on the edge but his pass is just behind the number seven. Better intensity from Nigeria now.
  • 16:19
  • 16:21
    21 min: Neat turn from Sigurdsson in the middle. Iceland have another throw on the right. It's headed back out to Gunnarsson who swings in a dangeorus delivery which Uzoho flaps at. A shot at the back post is then deflected behind for a corner by Moses.
  • 16:23
    22 min: Uzoho comes for the corner and it's turned away for another which Balogun clears. Good spell of pressure for Iceland.
  • 16:25
    24 min: Deep free-kick for Iceland which Sigurdsson lofts into the box - good header clear from Omeruo. Bit of a battle, this.
  • 16:26
    25 min: Musa chases well down the left and it's curled towards Iheanacho at the back post - Magnusson gets it clear at the second time of asking before Moses crosses beyond everyone.
  • 16:28
    27 min: Excellent play from Ndidi in midfield to win the ball back. His side unable to really threaten in the final third thus far.
  • 16:30
    29 min: Nigeria resorting to long balls, which are bread and butter for Iceland. Break for Iceland and Finnbogason looks to switch it wide but Mikel sniffs out the danger.
  • 16:30
  • 16:33
    32 min: Ndidi with a good ball into Musa but he's dispossessed on the edge. They can't get anything going.
  • 16:34
    34 min: Clipped ball into the Nigerian box and the clearing header from Moses is poor. It drops for Bjarnason who catches his volley nicely but sends it comfortably over.
  • 16:36
    35 min: Excellent ball from Sigurdsson from the right which turns Nigeria, Balogun can't clear - but Bjarnason can't make any contact at the back post. Iceland looking the more likely.
  • 16:38
    37 min: Free-kick for Nigeria in a dangeorus position on the right - but Iheanacho's in-swinging delivery is easily cleared at the near post. Waste.
  • 16:39
    39 min: Ndidi with a hopeful ball into the box - comfortable for Halldorsson.
  • 16:40
  • 16:41

    40 min: Nigeria have a two on two but Musa is flagged for offside as the ball was cleared from his own area.

    Bjarnason gets in on the left of the Nigerian box but flashes it across the face of goal.

  • 16:43
    43 min: A bit better from Nigeria and they win a corner on the right - but it curls beyons everyone and out for a goal kick. They don't look like much of a threat from set-pieces.
  • 16:45

    44 min: Booking for Bryan Idowu - Brian Kerr says he can have no complaints. Sigurdsson with the free-kick from the right.

    Excellent delivery - Finnbogason gets a glancing touch on it and it flashes past the far post. Great chance.

  • 16:47
    46 min: Iceland go close again - Saevarsson puts in a great ball which Bjarnason can't quite get to. Iceland corner - Bodvarsson heads it back across goal but out for a goal kick.
  • 16:47
  • 16:48
    Nigeria haven't had an attempt of any kind in that half.  
  • 17:03
  • 17:03

    The teams are back out in St Petersburg. Quick huddle for Nigeria - a big improvement needed.

    We're back underway!

  • 17:05
    46 min: And it's a bright start for the Super Eagles. They break and Etebo lets one fly from the inside right channel, but his low effort is easy for Halldorsson.
  • 17:07
    47 min: There was a half-time change for Nigeria - Tyronne Ebuehi on for Idowu, who was on a booking.
  • 17:07



  • 17:09

    What a goal!! Iceland have a long throw on the right which is headed clear, and Nigeria break. Iheanacho spreads it wide for Moses who carries the ball before crossing to Musa. Musa brings it out of the sky with one touch and then finds the roof of the net with his second.  

    Must have been some half-time teamtalk.


  • 17:12
    52 min: There's a big stoppage in play with Ragnar Sigurdsson down injured. He's taken a knock to the head but will play on bandadged-up.
  • 17:15
    55 min: Sigurdsson has minimal room to work with but somehow manages to jink into the box from the byline. He wants a penalty for a handball by Ebuehi, but it was a hopeful shout.
  • 17:16
    57 min: Ndidi lets fly from distance and it takes a slight deflection, Halldorsson scooping it out from underneath his bar. Iceland break - they're throwing more men forward now. We've finally got a game on our hands.
  • 17:17
  • 17:18
    59 min: Moses turns the ball behind for an Iceland corner. The defiant rumblings of the Viking Clap echo around St Petersburg as Sigurdsson trots across to take it. There's a brief panic as the ball drops on the penalty spot - Moses clears.
  • 17:18
  • 17:20
    61 min: Nigeria really pressing in the final third now. Moses dances in from the right and finds Musa in the box, he turns but can't get the return ball away. Iceland hack it clear.
  • 17:22

    62 min: A rare error from Ndidi who brings down Gislason in a dangerous spot. The free-kick is about 35 yards out - but this 'keeper has looked vulnerable.  

    Sigurdsson lofts it into the box and it's easy for Uzoho.

  • 17:24
    65 min: A change for Iceland at centre-half - Sverrir Ingason replacing Ragnar Sigurdsson.
  • 17:24
    66 min: Much greater zip to Nigeria's play now. Musa works it across to Moses who pushes it outside and then fizzes an effort just over on the angle.
  • 17:26
    67 min: It opens up for Gislason who cuts inside and flashes a right-footed effort well over. Sloppy from Nigeria allowing him the space, though.
  • 17:28
    68 min: Nigeria break down the right and Moses cuts inside with bodies in the box, his low effort blocked. Gaps are opening up for Nigeria now.
  • 17:28
  • 17:29
    70 min: Etebo with a corner from the left which is headed away. Mikel crosses back in and Ekong can't turn his header inside the near post.
  • 17:30
    71 min: Moses does brilliantly to win the ball back on halfway and Nigeria have a four on three - but he lets himself down with a poor cross to the back post. Nigeria corner form the right - it picks out Balogun but he can't keep his header down.
  • 17:32
    72 min: Another Iceland change - Bodvarsson replaced by Bjorn Sigurdarson.
  • 17:33
    74 min: Nigeria hit the bar!!! They're probing in the final third and the ball is switched to Etebo on the left. He plays it inside to Musa who takes a touch and curls one off the bar. Unlucky.
  • 17:33



  • 17:36

    It's all Nigeria now and they make their dominance count. They win back a long Iceland ball on halfway and it's played for Musa down the left. He shows stunning pace and strength to get ahead of his man and cut inside, beating the onrushing Halldorsson and taking a touch before sending a composed finish past two blue shirts on the line. Emphatic.


  • 17:38
    79 min: Iceland are looking very leggy now - Nigeria pushing for a third.  
  • 17:39
  • 17:40
    81 min: A stupid, clumsy foul from Ebuehi in the box on Finnbogason, who was going nowhere. The ref doesn't give it - but changes his mind after consulting VAR. Sigurdsson to take...
  • 17:41
  • 17:42
    83 min: Sigurdsson takes a two-step run-up and lofts his penalty harmlessly over the bar!
  • 17:43

    84 min: Nigeria break again through Musa. He checks back inside beautifully and plays it square. It comes to Iheanacho who has a man over but instead curls a poor effort well side.

    He's coming off, replaced by Ighalo.

  • 17:43
  • 17:45
    86 min: Iceland refusing to lie down and they flood shirts forward, but Sigurdsson - perhaps trying too hard to make amends - is run wide and Nigeria clear the cross. The Super Eagles break and Ighalo gets on the outside but doesn't quite have the pace of Musa and Halldorsson can come out to collect.
  • 17:47
    87 min: A chance for Iceland, it falls for Sigurdarson in the box but his shot on the angle is parried by Uzoho.
  • 17:49
    89 min: A change for either side - Ari Skulason on for Gunnarsson and Alex Iwobi on for Etebo.
  • 17:49
    Six minutes added time!
  • 17:51
    92 min: Nigeria well on top in midfield, as they have been since half-time.  
  • 17:52
    93 min: The ball is worked to Saevarsson on the right of the box and he crosses instead of shooting - tame.
  • 17:52
  • 17:53
    95 min: A great day for Nigeria potentially spoiled as Mikel is led off the pitch with a wrist injury.
  • 17:55
    96 min: Nearly a third for Nigeria - Ighalo is one on one but can't slip the ball off to Iwobi.
  • 17:55
  • 18:01
  • 18:06
    So - it's all to play for in the final round of Group D games. And despite their national meltdown, the odds are still probably in Argentina's favour to qualify. They need to beat Nigeria, bettering Iceland's result against Croatia in the process.
  • 18:31
    Thanks for joining today. There's no evening game from us tonight as you'll probably all be watching in the pub anyway! See you tomorrow for Belgium's clash with Costa Rica (1.0).