FIFA World Cup 2014: Argentina vs Switzerland - As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau/ Dattaraj Thaly
Sao Paulo: Argentina beat Switzerland courtesy an extra-time goal by Angel Di Maria. The South Americans go through to the quarter-finals. Switzerland will be proud of their gallant effort but in the end it was not enough.
120+4'- Shaqiri's free-kick can't get past beyond the wall. The ref blows his whistle. That's the game folks. Argentina to are through.
Lavezzi is praying. Players on either bench cannot see this. Last kick of the ball coming up. There will be no play after this free-kick.
120+3'- Last attack by Switzerland. Shaqiri tries to skip past a player near the edge of the box and is fouled. What a fantastic opportunity for Swiss to get a goal late on. The free-kick is awarded on the edge of the penalty box. Shaqiri to take it.
120+2'- The Swiss keeper is upfield as they launch an attack in the hope for an equalizer. The ball falls to Di Maria who tries to shoot from the half-way mark into the the open goal. His effort is wide.
120+1'- DZEMAILI.....OFF THE UPRIGHT!
Argentina escape. Shaqiri's cross was met with a header by Dzemaili. The ball reounded back off the foot of the upright and hit Dzemaili's legs who had no control on his body and the ball narrowly goes wide of the post again.
120'- THREE MINUTES ADDED ON!
118'- GOAL! DI MARIA
Lichtsteiner was robbed off the ball by Palacio who gave the ball to Messi, who ran past a defender, steadies himself and released the galloping Di Maria on the right. The winger calmly slot the ball in with a left footer in the bottom left corner of the Swiss goal. Hearbreak for Switzerland.
115'- Switzerland are showing no urgency in speeding up the play. They have slowed down the tempo of the game. It is Argentina who need to avoid going to penlaties.
113'- Zabaleta sprints down the right and puts in a cross. Again, no Argentina player can meet the cross. Switzerland holding on.
112'- Substitution by Switzerland. Mehemdi comes off for Dzemaili. They want to run down the clock now.
110'- Di Maria with yet another shot. Djourou got his body in the middle and the ball goes out for a corner. Di Maris is looking very dangerous.
108' - Switzerland on thw counter with Shaqiri surging ahead with the ball. He has two players with him galloping forward. His pass to Seferovic is short and is cut out by the defender. That was a tired pass from Shaqiri.
107'- DI MARIAAAA.....SAVED!
Di Maria whizzed one in fro outside the box. Benaglio tips the ball over. That was a venomous shot from the Madrid man. Wonderful save as well. Good football, all around.
106'- The last chapter of this story commences. If we can't find a winner. The favorites for the tournament, Argentina will have to go through the horror of a penalty shootout.
EXTRA TIME - FIRST HALF: Argentina 0-0 Switzerland
105' -Argentina try to exert pressure in the last few minutes on the Swiss defense. No way through.
103'- Shaqiri runs at the heart of the Argentine defense. He nutmegs Gago and tries to repeat it with the next defender and fails.
102'- Swiss break with Inler. He has options options to his left and right. He tries to thread the ball through for Fernandes on the right but can't pierce the defense.
100'- Mascherano sends in a long ball from his own half hoping to find Higuain. But Djourou makes a good interception.
97'- Switzerland have had their chances since the play resumed after the full time whistle. They have not been able to capitalize.
95'- Inler's free-kick is easily dealt with by the Argentina defense. The clearance falls back to Inler who volleys another first time cross. Another headed clearence.
93'- Free-kick to Argentina. Messi delivers it. The ball is headed by one of the Swiss defenders into their own goal. But the keeper is alert and makes an easy save diving to his right.
92' - Lichtsteiner with a good cross in from the right but Seferovic can't get to it.
91'- Good to see the legend is watching too. What a humdinger this has been and we are not done yet.
Here's what Roger Federer has to say about this match when his rival Nadal is struggling to find his momentum at Wimbledon.
This game is going to extra time SUI-ARG, watching Nadal-Kyrgios now for 5min! Wow also nail biting. Sport is great!
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) July 1, 2014
90'- Here we go...
Mascherano tries to inspire his teammates with a fiery speech in the team huddle.
We need 30 more minutes to settle this. Don't count the Swiss out yet. They have given a good account of themselves so far. Ottmar Hitzfelt, the master tactician has got his strategy spot on.
FULL TIME: Argentina 0-0 Switzerland
90+1'- Inler delivers a free-kick swinging in from the left. Schar's header is over the crossbar. That would have been a late "smash and grab" from the Swiss.
90'- 3 MINUTES ADDED ON!
89'- The resulting corner does not create any problems for the Swiss as they manage to clear their lines.
88'- Messi dazzles with his skills but the Swiss defense holds firm. They condece a corner.
87'- Shaqiri tries to twist and turn deep inside the Argentina half. He is muscled off the ball by two Argentina defenders.
85'- Only five minutes plus injury-time before we are headed to extra-time for the fourth time in the knockout stages.
83'- Di Maris lets one fly from Rojo's cross. His shot is deflected of Behrami for a corner.
82'- Seferovic immediately shows a burst of pace and takes on Fernandez deep inside the Argentina half. The defender does just enought to hold him on and earn the foul as well.
81'- Seferovic comes on for Drmic, who wasted a glorious opportunity to score in the first half.
80' - Switzerland are now looking a bit shaken up. They just can't seem to keep hold of the ball. Argentina have been nicking the ball off their players fat too easily in the last 10 minutes.
78'- Argentina are looking stronger as the game goes on.
77'- After consistent pressure from crosses of Di Maria from the right and Rojo on the right, the ball cleared by the defense falls to Messi, who runs at the players and fires in a shot from inside the box. The keeper makes a good low save to his right. He cannot collect it but the defenders help clear the danger.
75'- Di Maria sprints on down the right for Argentina and fires in a long ball. Palacio can't get to the ball as it is too strong.
74'- Messi curls in lovely teasing ball across the face of the Swiss goal. Palacio flicks it on but misses the target. He should have worked the keeper on that occasion.
73'- Substitution for Argentina - Lavezzi off. Palacio on.
72'- Despite Di Maria not going anywhere, Fernandes tackles him from behind and commits a needless foul. He gets a yellow.
70' -Looks like Sabella is set to make his first change. Alvarez is warming up on the touchlines. Most likley he will replace the ineffective Higuain.
68'- Argentina need either Lavezzi or Higuain to deliver today. Messi is being crowded out by the Swiss defenders as soon as he has the ball. That leaves other open. But they have failed to get into good positions.
66'- MESSI COMES CLOSE!
Messi volleys the ball from outside the. Good agile save by the keeper.
65'- Zabaleta moves down the right and puts in a long ball. None of the Argentina players in the middle can get their head to that ball.
64'- The resulting corner does no harm. Switzerland are making their first change. Fernandes comes on for Xhaka.
63'- Di Maria tries to cut a ball to the players in the middle. Corner conceded by Switzerland.
61'- HIGUAIN COMES CLOSE!
Rojo fires in a cross from the left. Higuain connects his header. The ball is on target and Benaglio has to pull off a good reflex save.
60' -At the 60 minute mark, one must say, Argentina have come out all guns balzing.
57'- Rojo came bombing forward and smashed the ball in from the left. Well saved by the keeper. But that ball was at a comfortable height for him.
54'- A reminder to our readers who have just joined the coverage - both teams have not made changes to their teams during the break.
52'- Zabaleta has the ball on the flank. He gets in a good position to cross. He puts in a ball on the rise and therefore can't control the accuracy of the delivery.
50'- Argentina have stepped up their game from the begining of the second half. Sabella seems to have given them the "hair-dryer" treatment.
48'- Lichtsteiner is fouled by Zabaleta on the right flank. Free-kick to Switzerland. But they can't make any good out of it.
47'- Free-kick to Argentina as Messi is taken down as soon as he picks the ball.
46'- The second half is underway. Here we go...
The ref has blown his whistle to signal half-time. It has been an entertaining game so far and it must be said that the best chances of the match have fallen to Switzerland. Drmic's missed opportunity is something Hitzfeld's side might come to rue later. But over the former Bayern Munich boss will be happy with his team's performance. They go into the half without conceding.
Lionel Messi has had a shocker so far. Higuain continues to have a mediocre World Cup and that must be worrying for Sabella. Lavezzi and Di Maria have been lively for Argentina, but their final ball has been poor. If the South Americans want to win this, not only do they need Messi to create more but also their defense to hold firm. This match looks like it will need a moment of magic. Let's wait for it.
HALF TIME: Argentina 0-0 Switzerland
45'- 1 minute added on.
44'- Drmic is deep inside the Argentina's half. He had an optin to cross but there were no red shirts in the box. He gets a corner by playing the ball out of Zabaleta's legs. Smart play.
42'- Lavezzi playes a no look pass to Rojo who had bombed forward. The left-back drives in a low cross to Messi who is in the middle. Djourou stretches his leg out to intercept the ball.
40'- At the 40 minute mark, one has to say Switzerland have looked more likely to score here in Sao Paulo. Xhaka and Drmic, both have had real goal-scoring opportunities. Argentina have failed to created any opening. The only time they haved looked dangerous is when Di Maria has floated in good crosses.
38'- BIG BIG MISS BY SWISS!
Shaqiri put in a lovely ball over the Argentina defense for Drmic who was one-on-one with Romero. He fluffed his lined by trying to chip the ball over the keeper instead of firing in the shot. He was open and no defenders near him. He chipped it straight into Romero's hands.
35'- Lavezzi gers past Shaqiri with a quick turn, as he begins to move ahead with the ball, Xhaka came in and clattered into the PSG man. Foul given and Xhaka yellow carded.
34'- Shaqiri's free-kick is curled in from the left and is a in-swinger. Romero rises and punches it away.
33'- Shaqiri has the ball on the right near the touchline. He fends of Garay who tries to disposess him. Lavezzi comes in hard and takes him down. Foul give. Free-kick to Swiss. Shaqiri will deliver it.
31'- Messi finds Di Maria on the right, who tries to cut inside on his left foot and curl a shoot toward the far post. His effort is blocked on the edge of the box.
30'- Djourou disposesses Messi deep inside the Swiss half and emerges ahead with the ball after beating 2 Argentina players. Good play from the former Arsenal man.
28'- Di Maria with a brilliant corner. Garay came inches close to heading it in. In the end, the ball went across the face of the ball without any player getting a touch. Garay was so close to heading it in. Delicious delivery.
26'- ROMERO SAVES FROM XHAKA
Shaqiri dazzled Rojo with his footwork on the left and cut the ball for Xhaka who was open. He connected the ball and hit a low drive to the near post that was well saved by Romero with his feet.
25'- Messi delivers a lovey curling ball that is headed by Zabaleta by from an awkward angle. The ball goes over the cross bar.
24'- Free-kick to Argentina. Messi to take it from a very dangerous position for Argentina.
23'- Messi, recieves the ball wonderfully and turn swiftly, he tries to thread the ball through to Lavezzi, but his pass is cut out.
22'- Messi tries to wiggle his way between the 2 Swiss players. They block his progress immediately.
20'- At the 20 minute mark, no team has created a significant goal-scoring opportunity. The ball has been dangling in the middle of the park for far too long. Both sets of players have adopted a risk averse approach.
17' - Messi has been quiet so far in the match. Hitzfeld has said in his press coneference before the match that they were working on a plan to stop the Barca man. Well, whatever it is, they have been successful so far.
15'- Zabaleta gets down the right for Argentina for the first time in the match and gets his cross in with four players in the middle to aim at. Benaglio rises highest and collects confidently.
14'- Messi picks up the ball and steadies himself. Schar comes in from the back and nudges him. Foul conceded. Free-kick to Argentina.
13'- Messi bursts into the box with energy. But he is in two minds whether to cross or shoot. He ultimately does a bit of both and the ball goes straight to the keeper, who collected by bending low.
11'- Shaqiri dropped deep to pick up the ball. He has been kept out of the frey so far and he is desperately trying to get involved.
10'- Free-kick to Agentina on the far left. Higuain swings it in with his right foot. But the ball is headed clear by Djourou.
7'- Mehmedi managed to get past two Argentine defenders and raced to the byline but his left footed cross was weak and rolled into Romero's hands.
5'- Di Mariajust flicks the ball around Lichtsteiner and makes a run on the turn. Lichtsteiner tugs his shirt and concedes the fouls as Di Maria was about to go on a marauding run.
3'- Higuain controls the ball using his body, quickly turns and crosses the ball on the rise. Well defended by the Swisd defense.
2'- Messi pinches the ball off Djourou and Argentina stroke the ball around from Swiss half to their half and back. Nice early touch for every player.
1'- Argentina get us started. Here we go..
Sao Paulo is a sea of white and blue. Argentina have taken over the city and stadium. Almost like a home game for the South Americans.
Time for the national anthems of both countries. Argentina, followed by Switzerland.
What a glorious day it is at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo. Perfect for the occasion.
Players have lined up in the tunnel. They will emerge out in a few seconds from now. FIFA anthem is on.
Switzerland have created more chances than Argentina at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Team line-ups for this match:
Argentina: Romero, Garay, Zabaleta, Gago, Di Maria, Higuain, Messi (c), Mascherano, Rojo, Fernandez, Lavezzi
Switzerland: Benaglio, Lichtsteiner, Inler (c), Xhaka, Behrami, Rodriguez, Mehmedi, Drmic, Djourou, Schar, Shaqiri
Welcome to our live coverage of this crucial Round of 16 game between Argentina and Switzerland.
Argentina won all 3 of their group games on their way to the knockouts. They beat Bosnia 2-1, Iran 1-0 and Nigeria 3-2. Messi has been the top scorer for them with 4 goals so far. Aguero is a doubt with injury hence Lavezzi may start on the right. Higuain has not hit the ground running and he will be looking to get among the goals.
Switzerland have lost 1 match so far. France scored 5 against them in that match. They left it late against Ecuador and pulled off a comeback 2-1 win. They thrashed Honduras thanks to a hat-trick from star man Shaqiri. They don`t have any major injury worries and are expected to play the same 11 as the last game.
Argentina will start as favorites in the match but if the pattern of this stage is anything to go by, the underdogs have taken the battle to the big boys. Algeria, Chile and Mexico, have all dragged the battles to extra time or at least to the final minutes of the match. The Swiss will seek inspirations from these performances when they take to the field against Messi`s Argentina.
As history suggests, Swiss are organised at the back and won`t concede easily. If the match stays deadlocked, Messi will once again have to do something special.