It was the Messi show as the Barcelona forward guided Argentina to a win against a spirited Nigeria in one of the most entertaining matches in the world cup so far.
The game started at a fast pace as Messi gave Argentina the lead in the 3rd minute. Di Maria unleashed a fierce strike that hit the post, struck the back of goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and bounced back onto the woodwork. As the ball ricocheted back into the area, Messi was on hand to power home a sublime half-volley.
The lead didnâ€™t last for long though as Nigeria equalized a minute later. Musa picking up the ball on the left flank before cutting inside and bending a curling effort beyond Sergio Romero. Higuan almost made it three goals in as many minutes but he could only hit is shot wide after a Messi through ball.
It was Messiâ€™s half though as he was on hand to restore Argentinaâ€™s lead in the dying minutes of the half with a sublime free kick that left Enyeama rooted to where he stood.
Nigeria found an almost immediate response after the interval as Musa ran into a huge gap between the Argentina centre-backs and slotted past Romero, having been picked out by Emmanuel Emenike.
However as was the story with the match Argentina restored their lead three minutes later with Rojo scoring from an Argentine corner.
Enyeama had to be alert to ensure that Argentina had the one goal lead and he was on hand to deny Higuan. The African teamâ€™s progression now hang on the other match between Bosnia and Iran.
Iran needed a win to have any chance of progressing as Bosnia were looking for their first win in the world cup finals. Bosnia made five changes to the side that lost to Nigeria while Iran were unchanged from the team that played Argentina.
Bosnia took the lead in the 23d minute as Dzeko found the back of the net with a well-placed low strike from 25 yards. Iran had a flurry of chances to equalize in the half but couldnâ€™t find the back of the net and Bosnia went into the half time break with the advantage.
Pjanic doubled Bosniaâ€™s advantage in the 59th minute to compound Iranâ€™s misery as he netted a composed finish from seven yards after Tino Susic found him with a perfect pass.
Iran were not to be denied a goal though and they pulled one back as Ghoochannejad applied the finishing touches to Javad Nekounam’s dangerous low cross. But it was Bosniaâ€™s day and they put the result beyond doubt with a Vrsajevic goal a minute later.
The win ensured that Nigeria made it to the next round in second place as Iran and Bosnia both head home.
In group E France needed a point to keep top spot while Switzerland needed a win to book their place in the round of 16.
Shaqiri opened the scoring for the Swiss in the 6th minute unleashing a powerful left-footed effort into the top corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.
Honduras tried to get back in the game but it was Shaqiriâ€™s day as he found his second in the 31st minute when Bernardez’s failure to intercept a searching ball freed Josip, who slipped a pass inside for the 22-year-old to slide the ball home.
Honduras came out strongly in the second half and a goal line clearance by the Swiss defense denied them the chance to grab a goal.
Shaqiri got his hattrick in the 71st minute to guarantee the Swiss a place in the next round with a simple tap in.
In the other match France took on Ecuador with everyone expecting the French to easily win considering their performance in the other matches.
The French made several changes to their starting eleven with progress to the next round already assured. The changes contributed to the French team looking slightly out of sorts and they couldnâ€™t break the deadlock in the first half with the teams going into the break at nil nil.
Ecuadorâ€™s chances were dealt a major blow after their captain, Valencia, was sent off for raking his studs down Digne’s knee. With 10 men against the French eleven there was nothing they could do and France held on to end the match with one point thus assuring them of top spot.
The French will now take on African champions Nigeria in the round of 16 as Switzerland hope to cause a major upset by beating world cup favorites Argentina.