Argentina 1-0 Iran

Stunning Messi strike saves Argentina but breaks Iranian hearts in Belo Horizonte

Date: June 21, 2014

Result: Argentina 1-0 Iran

Scorers:

Argentina: Messi 90

Venue: Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte

Match overview: A game that had promised to be test of Argentina’s ingenuity against Iran’s collective defensive organisation turned into a thrilling encounter which Iran could easily have won. The Iranians grew in confidence in the second half and it took a wonderstrike from Messi to settle the match in stoppage time.

Key moment: Messi’s brilliant injury-time goal saved Argentina but broke Iran’s hearts. Just as it looked as if Iran would hold on for a famous result, Argentina’s captain cut in from the left and unleashed a thunderbolt into the far corner of the Iran net.

Man of the match: Lionel Messi. Who else? Iran’s players all deserve credit for a collective performance that threatened to produce one of the great World Cup upsets but Argentina’s captain unleashed a moment of brilliance to settle the game and take Argentina into the knockout phase.

Matter of fact: Argentina enjoyed 76 per cent of possession, the second highest in a World Cup game since 1966.

Talking point: Iran may have parked the bus in the first half but they revved up the engine drove the bus straight through the Argentina defence on a number of occasions in the second half. They grew in confidence as the Argentina backline wobbled. Messi again showed how he can win a match with a moment of brilliance, but his team-mates looked overwhelmed by the pressure.

Stats:

Goal attempts

  • Argentina 18
  • Iran 7

On target

  • Argentina 5
  • Iran 3

Corners

  • Argentina 10
  • Iran 6

Line-ups:

Argentina:

  • 4 Zabaleta
  • 17 F Fernandez
  • 14 Mascherano
  • 7 Di Maria (Biglia 90)
  • 9 Higuain (Palacio 77)
  • 10 Messi (c)
  • 20 Aguero (Lavezzi 77)

Iran

  • 12 A Haghighi
  • 4 Hosseini
  • 6 Montazeri
  • 23 Pooladi
  • 21 Dejagah (Jahan Bakhsh 83)
  • 14 Timotian
  • 7 Shojaei (Heydari 76)
  • 6 Nekounam (c)
  • 3 Haji Safi (R Haghighi 88)
  • 16 Ghoochannejad

 

Yellow cards:

Argentina:

Iran:

  • Nekounam 53, Shojaei 72

Referee: Milorad Mazic (Serbia)