Argentina defender Marcos Rojo has stated that the World Cup is finally underway for his nation following their progress to the last 16 of the competition.
The Albiceleste, who had claimed just one point from their opening two games in Russia, were just minutes away from elimination due to being level against Nigeria in their final Group D game.
Lionel Messi had opened the scoring for the two-time World Cup winners in the first half before Victor Moses equalised with a second-half penalty.
However, Rojo emphatically volleyed Gabriel Mercado’s cross into the bottom corner of Francis Uzoho’s net with just four minutes left to send Jorge Sampaoli’s side into the knockout stages.
“We needed it,” the Manchester United centre-back told reporters following the dramatic 2-1 win in Saint Petersburg. “Now the cup begins for us.
“Lionel Messi had told the guys he was going to score a goal more than ever. The goal is for my family and for this group that deserves it. Let’s go Argentina!”
Argentina will take on France in Saturday’s last-16 encounter in Kazan.