Argentina captain Lionel Messi admitted his side suffered a lot against a difficult opponent on Tuesday.

Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1 to qualify for the Round of 16, and ensure an early exit for the Super Eagles.

The two-time champions were on course to crash out of the tournament when Victor Moses' penalty cancelled out Messi's early opener. However, Marcos Rojo volleyed home four minutes before the end to set up a clash with France on Saturday afternoon.

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Messi said Nigeria was a very difficult side and made them to suffer.

"We have suffered a lot," he said.

"It was a difficult situation. There was a lot at stake. Of course, it was a huge relief, a relief for all of us.

"It was a difficult match. We knew it was going to be a difficult afternoon, but fortunately we have achieved our aim.

"We didn't think we would suffer as much as we have. We were quite confident that we would be able to go through and fortunately that came through."

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