News / Americas

    Argentina, Belgium Win in World Cup Thrillers

    Argentina's Angel Di Maria celebrates after scoring a goal with teammate Lionel Messi during extra time in their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Switzerland at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo, July 1, 2014.
    Argentina's Angel Di Maria celebrates after scoring a goal with teammate Lionel Messi during extra time in their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Switzerland at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo, July 1, 2014.
    Mike Richman

    World Cup drama remained alive Tuesday in Brazil, with Argentina and Belgium winning in extra time to advance to the quarterfinals.

    It was the final day of competition in the opening round of the knockout stage, in which five of the eight contests were decided in extra time.

    Argentina beat Switzerland in Sao Paulo, 1-0, after breaking through in the 118th minute. Superstar striker Lionel Messi set up the winner with a pass to the right of the box to Angel Di Maria, who blasted it into the corner of the net.

    Switzerland had a free kick from the top of the box in the waning moments, but it was blocked by the Argentine wall.

    The two teams waged a tight, scoreless battle through regulation and nearly all of extra time. The Argentines thought in advance that the game would be decided following the first 90 minutes, according to Di Maria.

    "We know that this could happen to us, but we gave our souls out there on the pitch, we fought with our lives for each ball, and we ended up as the winners," Di Maria said. 

    Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld praised Argentina, which has won all four of its matches in this year's World Cup.

    "We made life very tough on them," Hitzfeld said. "They kept their cool. It shows Argentina has a good team."

    Argentina will now meet Belgium in the quarterfinals. The game is a rematch of their 1986 World Cup semifinal match, when Argentina beat Belgium, 2-0, and went on to win the World Cup led by the legendary Diego Maradona. It is the last time the Argentines captured the championship.

    In Salvador Tuesday, Belgium took a 2-0 lead in extra time and held on to eliminate the United States, 2-1.

    US goaltending

    The Belgians applied relentless pressure on U.S. goalie Tim Howard all game. Howard responded by putting forth one of the greatest efforts by a goalie in World Cup history with 16 saves.

    But Belgium beat him in the third minute of extra time when Kevin De Bruyne scored following a pass from substitute Romelu Kukaku. A few minutes later, De Bruyne returned the favor with a pass to Kukaku, whose goal gave Belgium a 2-0 edge.

    The U.S. did not fold. Forward Julian Green scored in the 107th minute to create a 2-1 game, becoming at age 19 one of the youngest players ever to score in the World Cup. Sparked by Green's goal, the Americans generated other good scoring opportunities as the clock wound down. Belgian goalie Thibaut Courtois, one of the best in the world, made an excellent save on Clint Dempsey to prevent the game from going into a penalty shootout.

    The U.S. had a chance to win in stoppage time, but forward Chris Wondolowski sent a point-blank shot over the cross bar.

    Afterward, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann described Howard's performance as "phenomenal."

    "He had an absolutely amazing match, you can give him the biggest compliments in the world," Klinsmann said. "He kept us in the game over the 120 minutes."

    The Americans were hoping to get a boost from star forward Jozy Altidore, who suffered a hamstring injury in the team's opening win against Ghana and was medically cleared to play Tuesday. But Altidore did not play against the Belgians. Against Belgium, the U.S. also lost standout Fabian Johnson to a hamstring injury.

    All of the quarterfinal matchups are now set. On Friday, France takes on Germany in Rio de Janeiro and Colombia faces Brazil in Fortaleza. On Saturday in Salvador, surprising Costa Rica plays the Netherlands, the 2010 runner-up, and Argentina plays Belgium in Brasilia.

    Brazil, the consensus favorite to win it all, is seeking an unprecedented sixth World Cup championship.

    Click here to check out our special World Cup site

    • Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of the Netherlands kicks a corner flag to celebrate his goal against Mexico at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, June 29, 2014.
    • Mexico's coach Miguel Herrera celebrates after Giovani Dos Santos scored a goal against the Netherlands during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, Brazil, June 29, 2014.
    • Costa Rica's Michael Umana celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during a penalty shootout against Greece in their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game at the Pernambuco arena in Recife, Brazil, June 29, 2014.
    • Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands celebrates with his teammate Arjen Robben after scoring a goal against Mexico during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, Brazil, June 29, 2014.
    • Argentina's Marcos Rojo celebrates after scoring against Nigeria at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre, June 25, 2014.
    • Colombia's team celebrates Juan Cuadrado's goal against Japan at the Pantanal arena in Cuiaba, June 24, 2014.
    • Colombia's Juan Cuadrado, center, is congratulated by his teammates Adrian Ramos, left, and Pablo Armero after he scored a goal from a penalty kick against Colombia at the Pantanal arena in Cuiaba, June 24, 2014.
    • Mexico's Rafael Marquez, center, celebrates with teammates Paul Aguilar and Javier Hernandez after scoring his team's first goal against Croatia at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife, June 23, 2014.
    • Algeria's national soccer players celebrate their team's fourth goal by Yacine Brahimi at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre, June 22, 2014. Pictured are: (counter clockwise from top) Algeria's Islam Slimani, Rafik Halliche, Madjid Bougherra and Yacin
    • Germany's Miroslav Klose does a flip as he celebrates scoring a goal against Ghana at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza June 21, 2014.
    • Chile's Jorge Valdivia celebrates a goal against Australia at the Pantanal arena in Cuiaba, June 13, 2014.

    Parke Brewer contributed to this report. Some information for this report comes from AP and AFP.

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Goodbye Ketchup, Hello Sriracha!

    How immigrants are triggering a great transformation in American cuisine

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: G Eccleston from: UK
    July 01, 2014 8:54 PM
    Congratulations USA for playing your hearts out and giving soccer a good name. Keep developing and you will succeed.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Offers Abound for Americans Mulling #movingtocanada Over Trump

    Google, Spotify, Hotels.com among companies offering people considering heading to their northern neighbor if Donald Trump is elected president

    Fishermen Protest as Deadly Red Tide Blooms in Southern Chile

    The red tide - an algal bloom - is a common, naturally recurring phenomenon in southern Chile, though the extent of the current outbreak is unprecedented

    Reports: Brazil's Rousseff Faces Additional Investigation

    The investigation is reported to be centered on wiretapped phone calls between Rousseff and her predecessor

    Zika Outbreaks Expected in Large Portion of Americas

    Doctors involved in public health say getting across the message that a mild disease could be devastating to unborn babies is challenging

    Olympic Flame in Brazil for a 90-Day Relay

    Flame has arrived in Brazil’s capital for 90-day relay around the country before reaching the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for opening of Games on August 5

    Ex-Mexican Foreign Minister Nominated as UN Climate Chief

    Patricia Espinosa, who works as Mexico's ambassador to Germany, won high marks for presiding at annual UN climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, in 2010 when she was foreign minister