World Cup: Argentina, Belgium squeak through to last eight after extra-time drama

Argentina and Belgium, both fancied teams at this year’s World Cup, almost came undone in their knockout round matches against unheralded opposition. The Lionel Messi-led South Americans looked to be heading for the lottery of a penalty shootout against a gritty Swiss side after the tie remained deadlocked at 0-0 well into extra time. However, winger Angel Di Maria popped up with a goal in the 118th minute to book a place in the quarter-finals and break Swiss hearts.

Football is brutal, brutal, brutal. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite have enough strength at the end to get through extra time.

Switzerland assistant coach Michel Pont

U.S.A. goalkeeper Tim Howard put on a superhuman performance against a Belgium side many are tipping as dark horses to win the tournament. The veteran goalie repelled wave after wave of attacks, single-handedly taking the Americans to extra time. Extra time proved to be a mile to far though, with Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne giving the Belgians a 2-0 lead. The Europeans got a late scare when Julian Green pulled a goal back for the Americans, but managed to hold on for a 2-1 victory. Belgium will face Argentina in their quarter-final match on Saturday.

We left it all out there but we lost to a really good team. It hurts but hats off to Belgium they were fantastic.

U.S.A goalkeeper Tim Howard