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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Canadian Authorities Seek More Power to Thwart Terror Suspects

Canada's PM Harper he'll press for speedy OK to track terror suspects abroad, and to detain people in the country suspected of plotting attacks
More

Brazilians Set to Choose New President

President Dilma Rousseff and Senator Aecio Neves face each other in weekend runoff
More

FARC Rebel Gets 27 Years in US Prison for Hostage-Taking

Alexander Beltran Herrera responsible for kidnapping three Americans whose plane crash-landed in Colombia
More

Canadian Shooter's Mother ‘Mad’ at Son

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's mother, Susan told the Associated Press part of her 'wants to hate' her estranged son, who killed a soldier in Ottawa
More

Canadian Couple Accused of Spying in China Held in Near Isolation

Treatment of the couple, who are being held without charge at a remote facility in the border city of Dandong, has seriously strained China's ties with Canada
More

Mexico Governor Resigns After Student Disappearances

Students from a rural teachers training college went missing after a confrontation with police in the town of Iguala on September 26
More