Gonzalo Higuaín scored the goal that would both win the match 1-0 against Belgium and lead the Argentinians to semifinals for the first time since the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
Byline: Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief
BRASILIA– It was not Lionel Messi who won the game for Argentina, instead it was French native Higuaín with his volley shot at the eight minute, the ball curved into the bottom left hand corner of the net to beat the Red Devils Saturday morning.
“I feel incredibly happy,” Higuaín told FIFA.com after the game. “I’d like to share that happiness with my family and the whole of Argentina. Ever since the first game I’ve been saying that I wasn’t worried, that my first goal would come, and fortunately it came at a crucial time.”
His wonder volley goal ended a 528-minute goal scoring drought for Argentina, and his goal ended a drought of Argentina failing to get the semifinals of a World Cup for the first time since 1990.
Ángel di María was attempting to send in a cross, but the pass was deflected by a Belgium defender. The ball bounced towards the Napoli forward at the top of the box. He instantly fired the ball to the bottom left hand corner of the net to give Argentina a 1-0 lead with only eight minutes into the game.
However, the dream start for Argentina was ruined at 33 minute, when Real Madrid midfielder Di María injured his thigh and was forced to leave the game early; later on news came out that the talented midfielder would have to miss the rest of the World Cup due to his thigh injury.
Argentina was able to hold on to the game, as the Red Devils were not able to get any rhythm after Di María left the game, and Argentina’s offensive game was left stuck int he mud. Though the Argentinians were closer of scoring a second goal then the Red Devils were closer of scoring the tying goal.
Higuaín ran down the field on a break away, and got through one defender by eluding him and created an open space for him to run towards the goal. The French native had a one on one with the young Belgium goal Thibaut Courtois. He perfectly put the ball over the hands of Courtois, but he also place the ball over the net and missed the opportunity seal the victory for Argentina.
His missed one on one shot, would prove to be harmless as Argentina would hold on to win the match 1-0 against Belgium, and now they are heading towards the semifinals to confront the Netherlands on Wednesday, July 9 at São Paulo. As for the Red Devils they are now heading home.
“I feel really pleased for this squad, who’ve lived up to our footballing history, for all the coaching staff, for our families,” Argentinian Coach Alejandro Sabella told FIFA.com after their narrow 1-0 victory against Belgium in the quarterfinals. “I think that, in terms of the balance we showed and the football we played, it was our best match so far. Our performance was excellent tactically, strategically and in how a team should behave, with team-mates putting themselves on the line for each other.”
The highlights of this video can be seen on this link http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=intl:1934129, video provided by ESPN FC.