Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi scored twice as Nigeria stunned two-time former World Cup winners Argentina by recovering from two goals down to win 4-2 in Krasnodar on Tuesday.
Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega and Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero fired Argentina, playing without the rested Lionel Messi, into a 2-0 lead after 36 minutes. But Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho pulled one back on the stroke of half-time before Iwobi netted a second-half brace either side of a goal from Brian Idowu to shock the South Americans.
Argentina, who beat Russia 1-0 in Moscow on Saturday at the ground that will host next year’s World Cup, left Messi out of Tuesday’s friendly following an agreement with Barcelona. Banega delivered the opening goal on 28 minutes with a well-struck free-kick after Nigeria goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi was penalized for a handball outside his area.
Argentina promptly doubled their advantage when Aguero, who scored the late winner over Russia, converted a right-wing cross by Cristian Pavon, the Boca Juniors winger making his first international start. But Nigeria, who went unbeaten throughout their World Cup qualifying campaign, refused to surrender and Iheanacho halved the deficit before the break with a 25-yard free-kick.
Iheanacho then found an unmarked Iwobi who equalized from close range on 52 minutes, with Amkar Perm defender Idowu drilling Nigeria into a 3-2 lead moments later. Argentina’s attempts to claw their way back into the match were ended when Iwobi grabbed his second goal on 73 minutes, taking a pass from Ahmed Musa and hammering home to seal just a second win over Argentina in eight meetings.