Sunday 22 June 2014
Stoke City striker Peter Odemwingie became the first Stoke City player to score at a FIFA World Cup finals by producing the only goal of the match as Nigeria kept their tournament hopes alive with a victory that confirmed the elimination of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Odemwingie, back on the international scene after a two-year absence, also earned the distinction of being the first player from an English side to score at the World Cup against a goalkeeper from the same club when he beat the Potters' Asmir Begovic in the Bosnian goal on 29 minutes to give the Super Eagles the lead and register the 15th goal scored at these finals by a player from the Barclays Premier League.
The result was a hard one to take for the Balkan outfit, making their first appearance in a World Cup finals, especially as the goal arrived six minutes after Edin Dzeko thought he had given his side the lead, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside. Indeed the Manchester City striker was a threat throughout, attempting eight shots and seeing one strike turned on to the post by Victor Enyeama.
But Nigeria, captained by defender Joseph Yobo, who played in the Barclays Premier League last season with Norwich City, on his 99th international appearance, held out for their first triumph that leaves them requiring a point from their final match against Argentina on Wednesday to progress from the group stage.
BPL players to feature
Nigeria: Peter Odemwingie (Stoke), John Obi Mikel (Chelsea), Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea, on loan at Middlesbrough last season). Sub: Shola Ameobi (Newcastle). Sub not used: Victor Moses (Chelsea, on loan at Liverpool last season).
Goal: Odemwingie, 29.
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Asmir Begovic (Stoke), Edin Dzeko (Manchester City)
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker made his 100th international appearance in a thrilling encounter between Germany and Ghana in Fortaleza.
Mertesacker's Germany were aiming for their third successive victory over their African opponents at a World Cup finals and looked on course to do so when Mario Gotze connected with Thomas Muller's cross to give them the lead six minutes into a pulsating second half.
But Ghana, who lost their first group match, hit back instantly through a fine Andre Ayew header, and took the lead 10 minutes later when former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan raced clear to beat Manuel Neuer with a firm right-footed finish.
Germany rallied, however, with Miroslav Klose coming off the bench to poach a record-equalling 15th World Cup goal from close range after a corner had been headed goalwards by Benedikt Howedes. In an open finale, there were further chances for both sides, but each had to settle for a point that leaves Joachim Low's side top of Group G on four points, three ahead of the Black Stars, and one above the United States, who can qualify for the last 16 with a win over Portugal tonight.
BPL players to feature
Germany: Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal). Subs not used: Andre Schurrle (Chelsea), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal).
Ghana: Christian Atsu (Chelsea, 72)
Lionel Messi came to his side’s rescue with an added-time winner as Argentina broke Iran’s brave resistance in Belo Horizonte.
The Albiceleste, featuring Manchester City pair Pablo Zabaleta and Sergio Aguero from the start, had great difficulty breaking down an obdurate rearguard, expertly organised by Carlos Queiroz, the former Manchester Unired assistant manager.
Indeed as the second half wore on the Persian outfit night have sprung a surprise with Charlton Athletic forward Reza Ghoochannejad twice denied by Sergio Romero, who also pulled off a spectacular save to tip a header from Fulham's Ashkan Dejagah over the bar.
But Messi provided the final sting in the tail in the dying seconds as he received the ball outside the area and cut inside to steal enough time and space to curl a sumptuous curling shot beyond the luckless Alireza Haghighi.
BPL players to feature
Argentina: Pablo Zabaleta (Man City), Sergio Aguero (Man City). Sub not used: Martin Demichelis (Man City)
BPL goalscorers at the FIFA 2014 World Cup
3 Van Persie (Netherlands & Man Utd)
2 Luis Suarez (Uruguay & Liverpool)
1 Oscar (Brazil & Chelsea), Wilfried Bony (Ivory Coast & Swansea City), Daniel Sturridge (England & Liverpool), Joel Campbell (Costa Rica & Arsenal), Marouane Fellaini (Belgium & Manchester United), Mile Jedinak (Australia & Crystal Palace), Wayne Rooney (England & Manchester United), Olivier Giroud (France & Arsenal), Moussa Sissoko (France & Newcastle), Peter Odemwingie (Nigeria & Stoke)
* players classified as BPL players are those registered to 2014/15 Premier League clubs until 30 June, 2014, even if they are to be released or are or have been on loan at another club this season.
22 June (BST)
5pm Belgium v Russia
8pm South Korea v Algeria
11pm United States v Portugal