Amid Argentina's Drama, Lionel Messi's Brilliance Emerges

  • Football
  • Wednesday, 27 Jun 2018

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — High in the stands, Diego Maradona raised his eyes to the heavens, his arms in supplication, and muttered two words: Gracias, Dios.

Not for the first time, Maradona detected divine intervention just when Argentina had needed it most. This time, though, it had been a holy trinity, rather than a hand of God, on the field in front of him: the first touch to cushion the ball; the second to roll it into position; and the third to sweep it past Francis Uzoho, Nigeria’s goalkeeper, and send a nation into rapture. Lionel Messi, once more, had delivered a goal, and perhaps salvation.

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