Argentina 1-0 Belgium: La Albiceleste progress through to the semis

Argentina seal a 1-0 win over Belgium to reach the semi finals of the World Cup thanks to a superb Gonzalo Higuain strike.

With both sides playing unconvincing football up to this point, it was anyones game. The only difference was that Argentina had arguably the best player in the world.

After only nine minutes Argentina took the lead. Angel Di Maria’s deflected pass fell kindly to Gonzalo Higuian on the edge of the box, who without a touch, turned and lashed a right foot at it to send the ball into the far left corner of the goal. Superb finish, that was his first goal in nearly a year for Argentina, the last one coming in August 2013.

The game kept up it's tempo, Kevin De Bruyne’s shot from outside the box was palmed away and Di Maria ran onto an exquisite Lionel Messi through ball but his shot was blocked by last defender, Vincent Kompany.

Argentina had a set back just after the half an hour mark when Di Maria was forced off with a thigh injury he sustained in that blocked shot.

Before the break Messi had a free kick on the edge of the area but could only blast it just over and wide. Shortly after, Kevin Mirallas headed inches wide from a Jan Vertonghen cross.

At the break Argentina were ahead, but Belgium wern’t short of creating chances.

The second half started with both Argentina pressing slightly stronger than Belgium, who looked a little out of the game. After 10 minutes, Argentina had a big chance to double their lead when Higuain burst through on goal. The ball deflected of Kompany’s heel and right into the path of Higuain, rampaging through into the area, his shot could only smack the bar on it’s way over.

On the hour mark Belgium and Marouane Fellaini had a golden chance when Vertonghen delivered another fantastic cross, but the Manchester United midfielder could only head over.

Through the remaining half an hour both sides played fairly even, with neither having a clear cut opportunity. Belgium enjoyed slightly more possession than Argentina but just couldn’t create anything with it. So it was credit to Argentina’s midfield and defence for shutting them out.

In the final five minutes Belgium started to up the ante and really pile on the pressure. Substitute Romelu Lukaku right in the thick of things. However they could not get their much needed goal and nearly conceded when Messi was through on goal, only for Thibaut Courtois to produce a brilliant save to deny him.

Argentina go through to the semis whilst Belgium look back on a game they could have got more out of.

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