Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel has revealed his discussion with Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir following the official’s decision to overrule a penalty appeal by Nigeria during the crucial clash at Saint Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday night
Odion Ighalo made a frantic and desperate appeal for a penalty, with Cakir consulting VAR yet needing just a single replay to reject the penalty appeal, with Rojo having headed the ball into his arm.
Super Eagles captain addressing the media after the game, as cited on BBC Sports: “It was a clear penalty for me. If you look at the Portugal game yesterday, this wasn’t close to that. This was worse. We have seen it again in the dressing room. It was a clear handball.
“The ref take a look at the VAR. He said it hit the hand. I asked as to why he didn’t give the penalty, but he said he didn’t know.
“We will be extremely prepared for the next World Cup. This team will do incredible things. It’s a shame we couldn’t proceed with the amazing journey we’ve had.” said Mikel
A lackluster Argentina side was very nearly a humiliating exit before Manchester United left-back Rojo surged into the box to put Gabriel Mercado’s cross into the bottom corner.
It was an outcome they barely merited following a poor second half performance, typified by the Javier Mascherano sloppy err that made Victor Moses level with a penalty.
Argentina will now face Group C table-toppers France in the knockout stage in Kazan on Saturday, while Group D winner Croatia, who anchored top spot by beating Iceland 2-1, will file out against Denmark.
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