Messi hails keeper Enyeama

JOHANNESBURG - 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.

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"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."

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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.

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