Argentina eye top spot, France look to secure last 16 place

  • Reuters, Santo Andre, Brazil
  • Updated: Jun 25, 2014 18:25 IST
Argentina-s-Lionel-Messi-acknowledges-applause-after-scoring-his-side-s-lone-goal-in-Argentina-s-1-0-victory-over-Iran-during-the-Group-F-World-Cup-match-between-Argentina-and-Iran-at-the-Mineirao-Stadium-in-Belo-Horizonte-Brazil-on-Saturday-AP-Photo

Argentina bid to secure top spot in World Cup Group F against a Nigeria side looking to reach the last 16 while France, almost assured of qualification from Group E, take on Ecuador on Wednesday.

Twice World Cup winners Argentina lead Group F with six points and have already qualified. To win the group they need at least a draw against the Africa champions, in second with four points and the only team yet to concede a goal.

Argentina's much-vaunted attack, led by Lionel Messi, have scored just three goals in two matches as they squeaked past debutants Bosnia and unfancied Iran. Nigeria could win the group with a victory over Argentina and need a draw to advance.

Iran, with one point, could still qualify for the round of 16 with a win over Bosnia if Argentina beat Nigeria.

France, with two wins from two, do not yet have mathematical certainty of a last 16 place.

It would take a heavy Ecuador defeat of 'Les Bleus' and a big win from Switzerland over Honduras to cause that unlikely scenario. Should France win or draw against Ecuador, they would top the group and face the runners up of Group F in the knockout stage.

It would take a heavy Ecuador defeat of 'Les Bleus' and a big win from Switzerland over Honduras on Wednesday to cause that unlikely scenario. Should France win or draw against Ecuador, they would top the group and face the runners up of Group F in the knockout stage.

The Swiss will hope that France beat Ecuador, which would mean a draw or win against Honduras would lift them to second.

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