World Cup 2018 Groups Table: Complete Standings After Tuesday's Play

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2018

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 26:  Marcos Rojo of Argentina celebrates with teammate Lionel Messi after scoring his team's second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Nigeria and Argentina at Saint Petersburg Stadium on June 26, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Argentina barely deserve to be in the last 16 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but they scraped out of Group D with a negative goal difference after a 2-1 victory over Nigeria at St. Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday.

Croatia continued their serene passage as they topped Group D by beating Iceland 2-1, while France won Group C after the first 0-0 draw of the tournament against Denmark, who qualified second.

Peru bowed out of the tournament with a 2-0 defeat of Australia in Tuesday's other clash.

Here are the final standings from Groups C and D, along with the updated bracket:

FIFA World Cup 🏆 @FIFAWorldCup

GROUP C. All eyes now turn to Rostov-on-Don & Saint Petersburg for #NGARG & #ISLCRO. https://t.co/YU8Ki5kkDV

FIFA World Cup 🏆 @FIFAWorldCup

Never in doubt. Was it? 🤔 #NGAARG #ISLCRO https://t.co/i2YhosG1Aa

FIFA World Cup 🏆 @FIFAWorldCup

The knock-out stage, so far... #FRAARG 🇫🇷🇦🇷 #URUPOR 🇺🇾🇵🇹 #ESPRUS 🇪🇸🇷🇺 #CRODEN 🇭🇷🇩🇰 #WorldCup https://t.co/agR7mszjwW


La Albiceleste had looked abject in a 1-1 draw with Iceland and 3-0 defeat to Croatia, but they finally looked to have found their groove on Tuesday in the opening half.

Lionel Messi latched onto an Ever Banega delivery behind the defence and swept home an exquisite opener in the 14th minute. Argentina looking comfortable heading into the break.

However, Nigeria came flying out the blocks in the second half, and Javier Mascherano, a liability for much of the 90 minutes, conceded a penalty after grappling with a Super Eagle during a corner.

Victor Moses duly converted from the spot with exemplary cool, per BBC Nigeria's Stephanie Hegarty:

Stephanie Hegarty @stephhegarty

MOSES 🙌🏻 so calm, so collected, so CLASSY

The Super Eagles were the dominant side for much of the second half but could not find another goal, and Marcos Rojo then scored a phenomenal winner four minutes from time.

The Manchester United centre-back did a remarkable impersonation of a lethal striker as he met Gabriel Mercado's ball on the volley and side-footed it into the back of the net.

It was a stunning finish to a breathless encounter that eclipsed any of Tuesday's other matches.

B/R Football @brfootball

Box office 🎥 https://t.co/IZXZINCrG0

Iceland's clash with Croatia had its excitement when Gylfi Sigurdsson cancelled out Milan Badelj's opener 14 minutes from time to give them hope of getting the win they needed to advance.

But Ivan Perisic netted in stoppage time to ensure Croatia maintained their 100 per cent record.

Australia and Peru played out a largely pointless but entertaining clash in which Andre Carrillo and Paolo Guerrero got on the scoresheet.

Meanwhile, Denmark and France were involved in arguably the worst game of the tournament so far:

Max Rushden @maxrushden

If you missed France Denmark because you are at work, you are very lucky.

Grant Wahl @GrantWahl

Can we all agree that France-Denmark game never happened?

Both sides knew a point would be mutually beneficial and see them through to the knockout rounds, and neither side showed any real attacking intent at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium.