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

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy 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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Former El Salvador President to Await Graft Trial in Jail, Not at Home

Francisco Flores, who had been on the run until early Sept. before turning himself in, accused of misappropriating $15M in 2001 earthquake relief donations
More

US Won't Impede Venezuela's UN Security Council Bid

Washington is clearly unhappy, however, with idea of country joining the Council, which has the task of overseeing international peace and security
More

Video Dehydration Is Top Killer of Southern Arizona's Migrants

US Border Patrol's search and rescue unit launches 'blue blinking light of life program' - a series of poles strategically placed throughout desert that emit high-intensity blue light
More

US Steps Up Pressure on Guatemala Over Labor Rights

Trade representative says Obama administration will push ahead with legal action under free trade agreement to make country meet international standards
More

Video US Attempts Crackdown on Trafficking Along Southern Border

Nogales, Arizona, notoriously known as 'tunnel city,' used by traffickers to smuggle humans, narcotics into US and Border Patrol responds with new technologies
More

Video Arizona Non-Profit Helps Keep Dehydrated Migrants Alive

The Sonoran Desert, a common crossing point for illegal immigrants, is one of North America's hottest places
More