Belo Horizonte, June 21 IBNS | 3 months ago

A stunning injury-time goal by Lionel Messi has taken Argentina through to the Round of 16 with a 1-0 win over Iran in Belo Horizonte's Estadio Mineirao.


The Barcelona star's late, late winner keeps La Albiceleste top of Group F on six points and leaves the Iranians stuck on one, with Nigeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina set to meet in the section's late kick-off.

Prior to Messi's timely intervention, the match had been a tale of domination and frustration for Alejandro Sabella's side, with a goal remaining elusive due to Iran's determined defending.

Gonzalo Higuain had been promoted to starting line-up and he started the game well, setting up first Angel Di Maria and then Sergio Aguero for efforts on goal, the second of which forced an acrobatic save from Alireza Haghighi.

Messi again looked subdued during the opening 45, with his only attempt coming on 33 minutes when he curled a free-kick just over the top right-hand corner. The Argentina captain then set up his team's best chance of the half four minutes later, crossing for Ezequiel Garay, who headed wastefully over from inside the six-yard box.

Iran, meanwhile, spent much of the match with all 11 players behind the ball, although they did offer a threat at set-pieces. They could, in fact, have gone into the interval 1-0 up only for Jalal Hosseini to head inches over after rising highest to meet Ashkan Dejagah's outswinging corner.

Carlos Queiroz's side also carved out a golden opportunity at the start of the second half, when Reza Ghoochannejad's header forced an excellent reflex stop from Sergio Romero after tremendous build-up play by Masoud Shojaei. Romero was again called into action midway through the half, pulling off a magnificent one-handed tip-over after Dejagah had beaten Pablo Zabaleta to bullet a header towards goal. Argentina remained the game's dominant force, though, and came close to breaking the deadlock on the hour-mark when Messi surged forward from midfield and curled a left-foot shot just wide of Haghighi's left-hand post.

However, their efforts became increasingly desperate as Iran's defence held firm, with Marcos Rojo's wayward long-range effort typical of their speculative late attempts. Indeed, Iran could have snatched a win at the death, with Ghoochannejad racing through and firing in a left-foot shot that was heading for the corner before Romero got across to tip wide.

Then, however, Messi provided yet another reminder of his genius. Picking up the ball in a seemingly unthreatening position wide on the right, he cut inside and, from 25 yards, curled an unstoppable left-foot shot into the far corner of the net. With 91 minutes showing on the clock, Argentina - thanks again to their incomparable captain - had won.

Report courtesy: FIFA.com

(Posted on 22-06-2014)

Share This Page:


Post your comments


Information on States of India:

Andaman Nicobar | Andhra Pradesh | Assam | Bihar | Chandigarh | Chhattisgarh | Dadar Nagar Haveli | Daman Diu | Delhi | Goa | Gujarat | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu Kashmir | Jharkhand | Karnataka | Kerala | Lakshadweep | Madhya Pradesh | Maharashtra | Manipur | Meghalaya | Mizoram | Nagaland | Orissa | Pondicherry | Punjab | Rajasthan | Sikkim | Tamil Nadu | Tripura | Uttar Pradesh | Uttaranchal | West Bengal

INDIA REGIONAL MAPS:

Andhra Pradesh Travel Map | Bihar Travel Map | Goa Travel Map | Gujarat Travel Map | Haryana Travel Map | Himachal Pradesh Map | Karnataka Travel Map | Kerala Travel Map | Maharashtra Travel Map | Punjab Travel Map | Rajasthan Travel Map | Sikkim Travel Map | Tamil Nadu Travel Map | Uttar Pradesh Travel Map | West Bengal Travel Map |

MORE MAPS OF INDIA:

Airports of India | Districts of India | India Pilgrim Centers | Tourism Map of India | National Highways in India | India Railway Routes |

INDIA CITY MAPS:

Ahmadabad | Bangalore | Chennai | Coimbatore | Delhi | Hyderabad/Secunderabad | Kochi | Kolkata | Mumbai | Pondicherry | Pune | Surat |

KERALA TRAVEL MAPS:

Alappuzha | Ernakulam | Idukki | Kannur | Kasaragod | Kollam | Kottayam | Kozhikode | Malappuram | Palakkad | Pathanamthitta | Thiruvananthapuram | Thrissur | Wayanad |