Lionel Messi & Angel di Maria Save Argentina in the World Cup Against Switzerland

A terrible match for 117 minutes, but Argentina move on to the quarterfinals. One brilliant dribble from Lionel Messi, one accurate touch and finish from Angel di Maria, one goal that beats Diego Benaglio and gives the Argentinians a 1-0 win over Switzerland, who missed a huge opportunity in the 120 minute, hitting the post from point blank.

Switzerland were the better team through the first 45 minutes, playing very close to each other and making it very difficult for Argentina to move the ball. The second half was completely different. Messi moved back and things looked better for Argentina as they always do, but a great day from Benaglio and a very inaccurate final touch from Argentina players, especially Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain in the final 20-15 meters resulted in a goalless draw after 90 minutes.

Extra time? Nothing happened, or at least nothing much. Until Messi broke through the middle and completely opened up the Swiss defense, and Angel di Maria was left wide open on the right wing, using his left foot that was insufficient throughout the entire match, giving Argentina that goal in the 118th minute with Benaglio not long enough to reach a not too powerful shot.

Switzerland still got their one big chance in the 120th minute: A cross to Blerim Dzemaili, left wide open to strike the post from three meters. Romero was helpless, but the rebound bounced off of Dzemaili’s foot and went to a goal kick. Argentina survived, like other “big” nations in previous match with a bad match, moving on to the quarterfinals without actually impressing.