2014 FIFA World Cup: Argentina vs Iran - As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau/Dattaraj Thaly
FULL TIME: Argentina 1-0 Iran
You have to feel sorry for Iran. Messi has denied them a famous point in the dying minutes of this match.
90+2'- GOAL! MESSI
Messi with a screamer. He has scored an amazing goal from out side the box, curling one with his left foot. Heartbreak for Argentina.
90'- FOUR MINUTES ADDED ON!
88'- Only two minutes to go. This has been a heroic performance from Iran.
86'- IRAN ON THE COUNTER! ROMERO SAVES! Rezza was through on goal and fired a shot from his left foot. Romero rescues Argentina with a smart save.
85'- Dejagah has been replaced by Iran with Bakhsh.
83'- Rezza is fouled by Rojo in a good position for Iran. Haji Safi takes the free-kick, but the ball is not accurate and none of the Iran players can get a touch.
82'- Rojo tries his luck from distance. The keeper dives but the ball is well wide.
81'- The resulting corner is easily cleared by the Iran defense. They have been immense today. Every Iran player.
80'- Rojo's cross i closed down by the defender. Corner for Argentina.
78'- Double substitution from Sabella. Aguero off in favor of Lavezzi and Palacio comes on for Higuain.
77'- Substitution for Iran. Heydari comes on for Shojaei.
75'- Rojo picks up the ball and finds Di Maria on the left, inside the box. The Real Madrid man fires a shot, but it is straight towards to keeper who uses his chest and hands to make the save.
74'- Messi's free-kick hits the side-netting.
73'- Di Maria earns a foul on the edge of the box. Messi stands over the dead ball.
71'- Iran look extremely dangerous from corners. Argentina look very uncomfortable against them.
69'- Argentina have been taken aback by the sudden rise in confidence in the Iran team. Iran are actually playing instead of just defending.
67'- ROMERO SAVES OFF DEJAGAH!
Wonderful save by by the keeper of a header from the striker. One of the best saves of the tournament.
65'- 25 MINUTES TO GO! Iran are growing in confidence. Heart-stopping 25 minutes await us.
63'- Corner from Iran. The ball was not cleared in time by Argentina. A scramble for the ball ensued before they got it way. The ball could have fallen at the feet of a Iran player there.
60'- MESSI MISSES BY A WHISKER! Messi ran with the ball from almost the center circle. The Iran defense kept backing off allowing Messi to take the shot from outside the box. The effort from Messi just misses the right post. It was a low shot aimed at the bottom corner.
56'- Iran hold firm as Argentina try and force an opening. No way past the defense.
54'- Dejagah thinks he is fouled inside the box. Not given. He is furious. Replay suggests he was right. Zabaleta clearly got his leg and not the ball. Very unlucky.
52'- BIG CHANCE! Rojo got in behind the Iran defense and fired in a dangerous cross. The ball is put on a plate for Aguero to head home. But he does not even make contact with the ball. Poor
50'- Messi runs at the Iran defense, which leave Zabaleta open on the right. Messi feeds the ball in to him and Zabaleta tries to curl it into the top corner of the goal. He missed it. But only just.
48'- Mascherano's ball over the defense for the galloping right back is long. Good effort from the Barcelona man who almost put his teammate in behind the Iran defense.
46'- And the second half is underway. Can Iran hold on?
Argentina just cannot find a way past this Iran defense. Who would have thought that? Absolute heroic defending from the Iranians helped by poor finishing from Argentina. So far, Messi has been kept completely at bay.
HALF TIME: Argentina 0-0 Iran
TWO MINUTES OF ADDED ON TIME!
45'- Corner for Argentina. Di Maria takes it. Fernandez climbs over his marker and heads the ball. No damage done as the ball goes out of play for a goal kick.
44'- Messi releases Higuain on the right. But the cross from the Napoli man goes one bounce straight into the hands of the keeper.
42'- IRAN ALMOST SCORE! Hosseini makes fine contact with a ball floated in from the corner. The header is inches off the crossbar. We could have had a shock here.
40'- Messi finds Rojo on the left of Argentina. The left back fires in a cross that goes over the goal and out of play. Poor cross.
38'- Iran have all their 10 outfield players in their own half when Argentina attack.
36'- BIG MISS! Messi floats in a lovely ball from the set-piece. Garay rises high and makes contact with his head from inches out of the goal. He can't give his header the right direction from close range.
35'- Gago is fouled from the back a little outside the box. Messi to take the free-kick. He may not go for a direct shot.
33'- Messi''s free-kick lifts the ball over the wall but he cannot get it to bend down quickly enough. The ball goes over the crossbar.
31'- Messi is fouled just outside the box. Free-kick to Argentina in Messi territory.
29'- The final ball has been very poor from Argentina. They simply have not been able to pick the right pass when it matters most.
27'- Iran have not been able to create any chances so far. But they have not let Argentina create them as well.
25'- Messi comes back to pick up the ball. He delivers a lovely long ball for Aguero who cannot keep it in play. Aguero is gutted. He smashes the corner flag with his fist.
24'- Rojo rises highest to meet the delivery from a corner but he heads just wide.
22'- Wonderful interchange of passes from Argentina. Aguero has the ball at his feet. The City striker curls one but the keeper makes a smart save.
18'- Di Maria lets one fly from outside the box. The shot sails into the crowd.
16'- Iran are maintaining their discipline at the back here. Typical Carlos Queiroz set up.
14'- Gago threads a ball through for Higuain who races towards it and takes the shot. The goalkeeper is quick off the blocks and blocks the shot as soon as Higuain made contact with it.
10'- Messi is being crowded by a group of Iran players as soon as the ball is at his feet.
8'- Mascherano tries to find Aguero with a long diagonal ball. But he over-hit it. Ball goes out of play.
7'- Iran are sticking close to the Argentina players and hence making a lot of fouls.
5'- Hosseini makes contact with his head on the delivery off the free-kick. But he can't direct it towards the goal. Shocking defending from the Argentinians.
4'- Free-kick to Iran as Zabaleta handles the ball on the right flank of Argentina.
2'- Agentina seeing a lot of the early ball as expected.
1'- Here we go..
Iran have a huge task ahead of them. Stopping Messi & co. is not the easiest job in the world.
The teams follow the FIFA flag out on the pitch. Time for the national anthems.
The line-ups for the match:
Argentina: Romero, Garay, Zabaleta, Gago, Di Maria, Higuain, Messi, Mascherano, Rojo, F. Fernandez, Aguero
Iran: Haghighi, Haji Safi, Hosseini, Sadeghi, Nekounam , Shojaei, Timotian, Montarezi, Ghoochannejad, Dejagah, Pooladi
Welcome to our coverage of the Group F game between Argentina and Iran at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte. After having laboured to a 2-1 over World Cup debutantes Bosnia and Herzegovina, the South Americans will be looking to register a convincing win over minnows Iran today.
Alejandro Sabella has no injury problems to worry about for this match. Despite being replaced by Fernando Gago during the second half in the last match, Maxi Rodriguez is expected to start again ahead of Gago today.
Iran were booed by some sections of fans in the stadium after their 0-0 against Nigeria. Carlos Queiroz defended the style of play of the Asians and he will employ similar tactics against Argentina. They are likely to play an unchanged team again today.
A win for Argentina would mean they are guaranteed of a spot in the Round of 16. Iran don`t have the resources to create any serious problems for the Argentinians and hence Sabella may give a run to some of his untested players later in the second half.
One positive from the last match for Argentina was that their star man Lionel Messi found the back of the net. He will want to improve his record at the World Cup finals against and will be the biggest threat for Iran.