Nigeria were minutes away from advancing to the Round of 16 but it was Argentina’s Marcos Rojo crushing their dreams on a sweet volley to win it 2-1.
Matchday 13 of the World Cup started with Peru eliminating Australia with a 2-0 victory, while France and Denmark both advanced to the Round of 16 after a 0-0 draw.
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Match #40: Argentina vs. Nigeria (Group D)
Result: Argentina 2-1 Nigeria
Moneyline: Argentina -199
Spread: Push (Argentina -1)
Total: Push (3 goals)
In an incredibly nerve-racking match, Argentina barely made it by Nigeria, 2-1, to advance to the Round of 16.
Leo Messi scored a wonderful goal in the first half to put Argentina up 1-0 and that’s where it stood at halftime.
The lead barely lasted after halftime, though, with Nigeria earning a penalty kick and converting it to tie the game 1-1.
It was tied until the 86th minute when Argentina defender Marcos Rojo connected with a game-winner that saved the day.
Argentina escaped with a 2-1 victory, finishing second in the group. They’ll play France in the Round of 16 in what should be a must-watch game.
Match #39: Croatia vs. Iceland (Group D)
Result: Croatia 2-1 Iceland
Moneyline: Croatia -122
Spread: Croatia -0.5 (-122)
Total: Over 2.5 (+110)
After a scoreless first half, Croatia broke the deadlock through a Milan Badelj goal to make it 1-0. He was a +1800 longshot to be the game’s first goalscorer.
After Iceland tied it 1-1 on a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty kick, it was Croatia’s Ivan Perisic winning it in the 90th minute to send the game over the total of 2.5 goals.
Croatia won all three matches and topped Group D. They’ll play Denmark in the Round of 16.
Match #38: France vs. Denmark (Group C)
Result: France 0-0 Denmark
Moneyline: Draw +175
Spread: Denmark +0.5 (-125)
Total: Under 2 (-101)
There’s not a whole lot to report here as both teams needed just a draw to advance, and that’s what they got. It was a great win for contrarian bettors as just 16% took the draw (+175).
The exact scoreline of 0-0 was listed as the second-most likely scenario at +500 odds. It was the first scoreless match of the tournament.
Match #37: Peru vs. Australia (Group C)
Result: Peru 2-0 Australia
Moneyline: Peru +140
Spread: Peru Pick ‘Em (-124)
Total: Under 2.5 (+115)
It took nearly 200 minutes but Peru finally scored a goal in the tournament, going up 1-0 on this perfectly struck volley from Andre Carrillo.
Despite the goal form Peru, it was actually Australia who controlled the first half with a number of great chances to score. Luck was finally turning to Peru’s side, however, as they weathered the storm into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
Right after the half, Peru’s all-time leading goalscorer Paolo Guerrero added another tally to make it 2-0 and they never looked back. It was Peru’s first World Cup win in 36 years.
Australia’s loss means they finish last in the group, a scenario that was listed at -105 before the tournament started.