Rojo in dreamland with Argentina

26 June 2014 11:16

Marcos Rojo says scoring his first goal for Argentina at a World Cup is "what dreams are made of" after the defender bundled home the winner in his team's 3-2 win over Nigeria on Wednesday.

Rojo, who has made 24 appearances for his country, deflected a corner into the net off his knee to ensure Argentina took maximum points against the Super Eagles and progressed as group winners.

"To score my first goal for Argentina, and for it to come at the World Cup and to secure three points for us - that's what dreams are made of," Rojo told FIFA's official website.

"I couldn't ask for more, although it wasn't a particularly beautiful goal."

Rojo's effort, together with two more goals for the unstoppable Lionel Messi, guaranteed a place in the last 16 where Group E runners-up Switzerland now await.

Argentina have been slow to get going in the tournament after underwhelming opening victories over Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran but Rojo believes the team are gaining momentum.

"We were clearly a lot more inspired going forward," the Sporting Lisbon defender said of their third outing.

"Our attacking players helped us out by scoring quickly. You always feel a bit more comfortable in a winning position."

Rojo continued: "The key factor in our improved performance today was an increase in space, because Nigeria were attacking and trying to win the match.

"That inevitably makes the match more open. And we knew that if we had more space available to us than in the first two matches, we'd create more chances."

Argentina have not progressed further than the quarter-finals of a World Cup since 1990 and their hopes of claiming a third triumph could largely depend on the form of Messi - not least after Sergio Aguero limped off in the match after an injury-plagued campaign.

The forward is now joint-top scorer with Brazil's Neymar on four goals and Rojo admits it is a privilege to play alongside the Barcelona star.

"Being able to watch him from the back is such a fantastic experience," Rojo said.

"Now (in the knock-out stages) a whole new competition begins. T here's no longer any margin for error.

"We either win or go home. As far as I'm concerned, it's the best part of the tournament."

Source: PA