22 June 2014

Nigeria: Omeruo a Rock for Nigeria

Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Nigeria's players celebrate their victory, 16 years after last winning a World Cup encounter.

There were precious few fireworks in the hunt for the Hyundai Young Player Award today at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. But Nigeria's Kenneth Omeruo earned a start in defence and impressed in helping to hold down the fort against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Middlesbrough defender kept a dangerous Bosnian attack, revolving around Edin Dzeko, at bay for a full 90 minutes and got forward whenever possible. On the other side of the pitch in Cuiaba, Bosnia and Herzegovina defender Sead Kolasinac was sadly banished to the bench after scoring an unfortunate own-goal in the opener.

Alireza Jahan Bakhsh came on late in hopes of helping Iran keep their clean sheet intact against Argentina. The Netherlands-based forward performed admirably but, in the end, world superstar Lionel Messi had the final say. The Barcelona man scored a wonder-goal deep into stoppage time to seal all three points for Argentina, as the Iranians still hunt their first goal of these finals with two games gone.

Next up

USA's Germany-based defender John Brooks will be keen to keep the momentum going against Portugal. He came on at half-time against Ghana to replace the injured Matt Besler in the Americans' opening and ended up scoring an unlikely late winner to begin his tournament with a dream come true. On the other side of the pitch in Manaus, Portugal coach Paulo Bento might need to turn to young striker Rafa Ferreira Silva after a succession on injuries hit his camp.

Over at Rio's Estadio Maracana, Belgium's youth brigade attempt to keep the momentum going against Russia. Last time out Romelu Lukaku and Divock Origi impressed for the Red Devils in a win over Algeria. Nabil Bentaleb will also likely feature for Algeria as they look for their first points against Korea Republic.

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