Nigerian keeper hailed for thwarting Messi
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Lionel Messi saluted a "phenomenal" display from Vincent Enyeama after the Nigeria goalkeeper produced the performance of his life to deny the Argentine forward in their Group B game on Saturday.
"The goalkeeper was phenomenal," Messi said after Argentina were limited to a 1-0 win over Nigeria at Ellis Park with Enyeama producing a series of tremendous saves to thwart the world player of the year.
"He takes all the credit. We played a great game today and created a lot of chances. We just couldn't get the second goal."
Enyeama said he needed to put on the performance of his life to deny Messi a first goal at the tournament.
"It would be my best possible performance possible performance playing against the best possible player in the world, so it was my best," Enyeama told a news conference after he was named man of the match.
Asked how he had "God is my secret, just God. He made me calm and he made me quiet."
Argentina's winner came from a corner which followed a superb Messi chip which Enyeama had palmed over.
Midway through the first half, in a trademark cut inside from the right, the little ace hit a curling shot to the far corner only for Enyeama to dive and turn the ball away.
Messi threatened again near the end of the half when he curled a lovely shot towards Enyeama's top right corner with the keeper again leaping to tip the ball wide.
And shortly before the end Enyeama denied Messi once more, blocking a close range shot after the Argentine forward found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
(Editing by Michaael Holden)
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