Arsenal attacker Alex Iwobi starred for Nigeria as they overcame a two-goal deficit to beat Argentina 4-2 in a friendly on Tuesday evening, with the Gunners star heavily praised for his role in the African outfit’s win.
The match, played in Russia ahead of the World Cup finals there next summer, was a see-sawing affair dominated by the forward players of both sides at the Krasnodar Stadium.
Ever Banega and Sergio Aguero had fired Argentina into a first-half lead, only for Kelechi Iheanacho to pull one back before the break.
A cool finish from Arsenal star Iwobi put the Super Eagles level, before Brian Idowu completed the turnaround following an incisive passing move.
Gunners starlet Iwobi then added some gloss to the scoreline with his second of the night, a left-footed strike into the corner after an outrageous nutmeg on Argentine defender Javier Mascherano.
The Barcelona man was quick to heap praise on his opponent after the match and conceded that the better team won on this occasion.
“We dominated the first half but they scored from their only shot on target before the half time break,” Mascherano was quoted as saying by the Nigerian Daily Post.
“Their second goal was well taken by the Arsenal lad (Iwobi) then the fourth goal by same player killed the game off.
“He (Iwobi) took his goals really well, maybe we should have defended better but the quality of the second strike from the edge of the box makes me think otherwise. Congratulations to Nigeria, they deserve to win.”
Iwobi has long been billed as a potential world beater, but has shown only glimpses of his true talents in a Gunners shirt.
The 21-year-old is still not considered a first-team regular at the Emirates Stadium having started just four of their 11 Premier League fixtures so far this term.
Wenger did give Iwobi an Arsenal start in the recent 3-1 defeat away to Manchester City, but the youngster struggled to make a lasting impact at the Etihad Stadium.
However, Gunners supporters will be hoping that he can now translate his form from the national team into his club displays, particularly with a North London against Tottenham Hotspur coming up at the weekend.