Comrade of the Day: Matchday 13

27 June 2018, 11:29
Life After Football

The World Cup doesn't just produce the obvious heroes, it serves up some unlikely ones, too and, with Argentina's turbulent tournament seemingly about to end, one man became one of those unlikely saviours.

When Messi pulled out a wonderful finish in the first half, it looked as though Argentina had turned a corner. Their star man was on the scoresheet and they were leading Nigeria whilst having all of the ball. But a Mascherano foul and a ridiculously cool penalty from Victor Moses later, and they were back where they started; struggling, stifled and on the brink of elimination.

Not through a lack of trying, the South Americans couldn't re-take their lead. A Nigeria side needing only a draw looked solid, whilst elsewhere, an Icelandic equaliser against Croatia had further increased the likelihood of Messi failing on the biggest stage once again.

As Mascherano's blood leaked from his face, the energy of Argentina seemed to drain. So, when another set-piece fizzled out, it was symbolic of a frustrating second half. But one man not giving up was Marcos Rojo. The defender had stayed forward from a previous attack and simply lurked around the Nigerian defence. By the time a cross came back in from the right it was he, the third-choice centre-back of Manchester United, who applied the finest of volleys to score the most dramatic of goals for Argentina.

Not long after Higuain had skied a chance and all hope seemed lost, a defender showed everyone how it was done. Argentina through by the skin of their teeth with the goal of the day from our Comrade of the Day.

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