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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 15 October 2018

Maradona, tears and pandemonium as Argentina knock Nigeria out of World Cup - in pictures

It was a crazy night in Saint Petersburg

Players on both sides were crying on the pitch, Diego Maradona had to be helped from his seat in the stands, and the streets of Buenos Aires were going bonkers.

This was the night that World Cup 2018 truly came alive.

Argentina made it through to the knockout stage after a dramatic climax to Group D in Saint Petersburg, where a late Marcus Rojo goal created scenes of delirium among the South Americans.

The pressure on Lionel Messi and his team was huge going into the match, and the release once Rojo's volley hit the back of the net was palpable.

It was all too much for Maradona, meanwhile, who was the centre of attention away from the pitch, displaying a full set of emotions during the roller-coaster encounter.

He was seen gesticulating, roaring, looking to the sky, and burying his head in his arms before requiring medical attention at the climax to a thrilling night. He later insisted he was "fine".

The World Cup has produced some fantastic goals and plenty of VAR controversy, but this encounter was brimming in tension and will be remembered for its explosion of relief and joy for Argentina, and the broken hearts among the Nigerians.

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Read more:

'I am fine': Diego Maradona reassures fans after health scare in Argentina World Cup thriller

World Cup 2018: Day 14 updates - Maradona health scare; Germany and Neymar's Brazil in action

Nigeria to send Messi and Argentina home - says Achilles the cat