Live coverage as Lionel Messi and Argentina face Switzerland at Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo. With Gary Lineker and commentators Jonathan Pearce and Mark Lawrenson.
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save. It's wide! Saved again. Poster boy of the World Cup. He has nerves
of steel. Good afternoon. There are two south
American teams already through to the quarter-finals. Argentina are
bidding to make it three against unfancied Switzerland. In this World
Cup you never know. four occasions winning the World Cup
on home soil in 1978 and again in Mexico in 1986. They've not gone
beyond the quarter-finals since 1990. Can Messi inspire them once
again today? Switzerland are hoping to reach the last eight for the
first time since they hosted the World Cup in 1954, 60 years ago.
Terrible news for Ottmar Hitzfeld, his older brother passed away,
though the coach will remain with the squad. A bit of perspective
there. Argentina, Alan, one of the big
favourites, but like a lot of the major footballing nations,
occasionally they've looked to have weaknesses as well as obvious
strengths. They've puffed and huffed a bit in the group stages. It's a
bit disappointing the tournament have not got a standout team. Every
time you think you have seen the best goal, it gets better and then
you think you have seen the quickest game ever, Brazil against Chile but
last night the Germans and Algeria was sensational. You are right,
there is not a standout team. The players that the Argentinians have
got and it could be their team. Messi arguably the greatest player
on the planet, this could be his time. It's the knockout stages that
tends to produce that standout team, that's obviously when you have to
perform. Yeah and Argentina could be that team. Defensively the whole
competition, we have never seen such poor defending in a World Cup. Very
poor. I expect goals today. I don't think the Swiss are great
defensively, nor Argentina. I want to see goals. That's why Hansen is
going grey as we speak! We want to see great goals and that hasn't been
a disappointment at all. But defensively Argentina are very much
like everyone else, they've struggled at times. If the Swiss
play like they did against the French were they were so open Messi
and co will have a field day. Overreliance on one man? Not if he
is that good, Maradona in 86, the team then weren't as good as the
players in this, no, Messi, I mean, nobody's ever won the World Cup on
their own. Maradona was as close as you are going to get. It could be
Messi's year. The game takes place in Sao Paulo. As you can imagine,
Argentina have huge support amongst the masses.
Welcome everybody to a beautiful sunny Sao Paulo. Gorgeous day here
for Argentina against Switzerland. Tim, as you know we always get
excited about past meetings between teams. Normally it tells us little
but in this case you think it's significant. The last time these two
met, February 2012, Messi rolled the Swiss over. 3-1 win. He scored all
three goals. That really was the start of a process where finally
Messi was showing his best club form for his country. In that game
against Switzerland it was Messi and Aguero up front. Everybody is
talking about Messi. There's going to have to be a change, what will
Argentina do? There was talk of Rodriguez coming in on the right of
midfield in a conventional 4-4-2, that would have been a cautious
option. Lavezzi will be expected to track back, as well. What about
Switzerland, how can they hurt an Argentina side? Argentina leave
themselves vulnerable. There is space always between the fullbacks
and the centre-backs. The problem for Switzerland is will they have
enough gas in the tank to take advantage? They've played a game in
sapping conditions, what do they have left in the tank? You think we
have had the quote of the tournament from the Argentina boss. We can talk
about technique and tactics and selection all we like, but at this
stage of the tournament Sabella think what really matters is your
grey matter, he said at this stage in the tournament one gram of brain
weighs more than a kilo of muscle. He is a philosopher! Deep thoughts
from the Argentina boss. We hand back to our heavy-headed pundit
panel. Switzerland are very much second favourites this afternoon.
But their coach is a wily old fox who has won the Champions League
twice. We assess their chances of causing an upset.
Switzerland, a nation at peace for centuries. About to experience a
mighty racquet. It's 31 years as a manager, and
Hitzfeld likes a challenge. He is so loved in Switzerland he was once
dubbed St Ottmar. No miracles in the group stage. The
Swiss started with a 2-1 win over Ecuador but had a defeat to France.
The match against France was not satisfactory for any of us. It was
just a bad performance. But sometimes that's necessary to wake
everybody up and to look for mistakes. To know that everybody has
to give more. Facing elimination the Swiss team channelled their
countrymen Rodger Federer's powers of recovery against Honduras.
What a goal from Shaqiri! A win so good it was approved by the man
himself. It's nice having a national team doing well now, especially with
our coach who has been with us a long time. It might be his last
match, we hope not. We hope we can beat Argentina The odds are stacked
against them. Argentina are accelerating. I think it is
something really special for every Swiss player to play against
Argentina. The great pressure is gone because we have reached the
last 16. Now we have nothing to lose. We only can win against
Argentina. It's a round of 16 in a great stadium during the World Cup.
We can't wait and I hope that we will be happy. That we manage to
stop Messi, not just as a single player but the whole team. The Swiss
have reached three World Cup quarter-finals but are on something
of a drought. The last one was 60 years ago. We can make history if we
reach the quarter-finals. No matter who makes the difference, I hope
that somebody scores a goal and that we don't concede one. Unfancied, a
little unfashionable, little is expected off the Swiss but Hitzfeld
doesn't tend to listen much to what's expected.
I think sometimes we associate the Swiss team, certainly in recent
years, of being well-organised, disciplined and often dull to watch.
Even to the neutral, Switzerland have plenty of neutral connections,
but in this World Cup they've been open and aggressive and attacking.
Especially against the French. When you talk about open play and
defending, and the fullbacks, this is great pressing by the French.
It's terrible play. Two fullbacks, Lichtsteiner and Rodriguez too far
up the pitch. He is telling him to get across. I
don't think the goalkeeper was any good either. This is a pass back.
Djourou heads this. This is like watching Arsenal. It's a corner
kick. You talk about organisation. The goalkeeper maybe again should
come but he backs off. Easy goal. Last night we saw one of the great
goalkeeping performances of all time. Everything was timed to
perfection. Especially that. You get it wrong, it ends up in the back of
the net. I think this would sum up, Rodriguez, a fullback never looks
around at all at any stage. They've men back in numbers. You are talking
about organisation. The organisation there is pathetic. It's a pass back
that goes in the back of the net. If they play like that against
Argentina, then we will maybe have five or six. The Swiss have two
quarter-finalists in Wimbledon. And Roger mentioned he would be watching
us. They've made a tactical change with Shaqiri. Going forward they can
test the Argentina back four, definitely. Four years ago Argentina
were coached by Maradona, of course and went out with a whimper
intelligence Germany. The man in charge today is Alejandro Sabella.
He became a star player for a club in South Yorkshire.
English football went Argentina crazy in the summer of 1978.
Tottenham signed Alejandro and Sheffield United aimed higher and
tried to sign a young Maradona. They came close but failed. In the end,
United got a signature of an attacking midfielder, a 23-year-old
from River Plate, his name was Alejandro Sabella. He was quickly
nicknamed Alex. The man who struck the deal was
United's manager. We watched the first game of the World Cup with
Argentina and talking about possibilities of getting this sort
of player. Over there I go, during this course I seen young Alex and I
was convinced he had that something that was something I thought that
would appeal. The deal was done but even then reluctantly you get to the
airport and the man looking at the passports doesn't want to let us out
because we have Sabella with us! So, he swapped South America for
South Yorkshire and a steel city in decline.
South Yorkshire and a steel city in I would like to pay back this
reception as quick as possible. Alex is telling you back heel, back
heel. That's in his language. Back heel. His skills were sublime and
with his socks around his ankles he soon became a cult hero. Sabella
shows us magic straightout bonus RNs. With a different philosophy,
with fewer bad intentions. In Argentina the marking is tighter,
they will do anything to stop you. Much more difficult to get the ball,
here it is easier, you are nest likely to the macro -- less likely
to get knocked off it. He left the club when they were relegated to the
third division, joining Leeds, but returning home the following season.
Over 30 years later, he is now in charge of his own country,
Argentina. For some, Alex Sabella will always be made in Sheffield,
1978. Those are the scenes inside the
stadium, Sabella has turned around this Argentinian team after Diego
Maradona. A big game. You say backheel to Robbie Savage, he thinks
that is where you have to kick someone. We'll talk about Messi, but
Mascherano is a key player in the holding role. He dictates everything
they do. Always in the centre. Always looking to pass forward, and
find Messi. Here we go. Keeping it nice and simple, looking for the
ball. Just watch how he tries to find the best player in the team. He
knows what his role is. When you are in a team of technically better
players, the manager says get the ball, find the best player. You
should know! I never got the ball! Look at this pass, Messi picking it
up, dropping the shoulder. Playing it forward. This pass comments on
station. Argentina have the best discipline, only making 22 fouls,
one yellow card. With Mascherano, that is strange. He is so much
better there than centre-back. A proper player. Let's see how they
line up. The goalkeeper keeping three clean sheets in eight games.
The same back four that started the last two games. Rojo macro scored
his first international goal against Nigeria. Di Maria will get forward
down the left, Mascherano and Gago sitting deeper. The only change sees
Lavezzi replacing the injured Aguero. They have been hugely
reliant on Messi. I don't see a problem with that. Colombia have
done that with Rodriguez. Brazil with Neymar. When you have a player
with this ability, you will rely on him. It was not plain sailing in the
first game. In the first 45 minutes. They had the better of them, that is
how he likes to play. Easier said than done. You have to try and force
them onto the right-hand side. Into the middle. That is where the bodies
are. This is what he wants to do. Getting it on his left foot macro,
but it was not working. -- left that. -- left foot. They know he
wants to come back in. He is running into bodies, four bodies. He did it
brilliantly in the first half. What changed was that they brought big
why a non-dash-macro they brought Gonzalo Higuain on. That created the
space where he was not able to do that in the first half. There is
still a hell of a lot to do. We have seen that time and time again. On
his left of -- foot. That is absolutely magical. He makes his own
goals from nothing more than anyone I have ever seen. There is a school
of thought, the stats prove it, he does not run as round as much. --
runaround. You don't need to run if you can play like that. A magical
left foot. They struggled defensively against Nigeria,
Mascherano, there are not many holding players. He has played there
for years, he has the discipline and the know-how to protect the back
four. As for the Swiss, this is their team. Benaglio has let in six
goals, although he has saved a penalty against Benzema. Johan
Djourou partners Fabian Schar. The full-backs are usually very
attacking, they may have their hands full defensively. Behrami and Inler
play for Napoli together. The creative players are 823 or younger.
-- are all aged 23 or younger. Another youngster up, Drmic. Wright,
Shearer on Shaqiri. That is not easy to say. He switched from the
right-hand side to the number ten role. Getting him far more involved
in the game. Predominantly left footed. Any right footed person
would take a shot. He wants to get it back on his left. You have to
show him on his right hand side. He can do this, finding those pockets
of space. That is not bad. That is what he can do if you give him the
space. He can play little balls in two Drmic. He's short, stocky,
quick, getting into the position, great first touch, good second
touch. Taking control of the goalkeeper. This is for his
hat-trick. The first left footed hat-trick in World Cup history. I
was looking that up last night. That is a great start. -- statistic. He
should cause them problems. He has been likened to Messi, you can see
why. Obviously he's no Messi. The problem playing against Messi, you
have to deny him time and space, if he gets past the first one, the
second one has to be waiting. I am not so sure the Swiss can do that.
Both desperate to get on that left foot. It is easier said than done.
Sometimes you cannot because of the pace they're running out. If he is
coming in off the right, the golden rule was bring him inside where you
have the bodies, but you bring him onto his left, you saw the goal he
scored. I think Rodriguez could have a big game, Zabaleta was
uncomfortable against Nigeria, maybe Shaqiri drifting out there. We have
not seen a goal fest in the knockout stages, but this could be. A
possibility. Now I have said that, it probably won't! Fingers crossed.
This will be no pushover, a tough Swiss side to break down. Seven guys
from the Bundesliga, three from Serie A. You are going for
Switzerland? No, Argentina. I think Johan Djourou, not good enough. All
six of the group winners have won, Argentina looking to make it seven
out of seven. Over to Jonathan Pearce.
Thank you very much, so far this World Cup drama has been a story of
outstanding individuals. Can Messi become the first man since 1932
score in four successive Argentine World Cup final matches. Shaqiri
became the first ever layer to score a left footed hat-trick against
Honduras. A wonderful atmosphere, Argentinian fans dominating. Please
stand for the national anthem of Argentina.
A 21 million population of greater S?o Paulo, 7000 Argentinians said to
have arrived in the last two days. # Trittst im Morgenrot daher
Seh? ich dich im Strahlenmeer # Dich, du Hocherhabener, Herrlicher
Wenn der Alpenfirn sich rotet # Betet, freie Schweizer, betet
Eure fromme Seele ahnt # Gott, den Herrn, im hehren
Vaterland. # Tiny pockets of Swiss fans, hugely
outnumbered. I have seen so many Argentinian fans, he will -- a
fantastic and raucous atmosphere. Argentina forced to make one change,
Sergio Aguero ruled out with a thigh strain. They hope he will be fit for
the quarterfinal. Lavezzi replacing him, he will be on the right.
Zabaleta looked uneasy against Nigeria's pace. Mascherano won the
title with Corinthians in 2006, they will use this stadium after the
World Cup. Gargano's supplied to Messi could be crucial. A new
beginning to look matchup. Jonas Eriksson is the referee, his third
game. He sent off Demichelis for his foul on Messi in the Champions
League this season. Gokhan Inler, the captain of Switzerland.
Switzerland have never won again beyond the group stages. Fabian
Schar coming in to stop that leaky defence. They have changed it a bit
since the opening game Xhaka moving to the right to allow Shaqiri more
room in the middle. It paid off, the first left footed hat-trick in World
Cup history. The official team sheet has instilled on the right. We will
wait and see. It was the way that France destroyed them that caused
Swiss fans concern here. Alex Cisak Bella -- Sabella, he was nicknamed
the slough sloth in Argentina. But my hints meld -- Ottmar Hitzfeld had
some tragic family news last night. Demichelis is one of six players who
have been practising penalties for Argentina. They start very much the
favourites. Switzerland will not make it easy for them. Both teams
have defensive frailties. It could be down the left-hand side, as
Robbie Savage pointed out, the Swiss fancy their chances of getting at
Zabaleta. The referee checking with the fourth of, off we go.
How do you see it going, Mark? If the Swiss can make the front four
defend for Argentina, Switzerland a much better going forward, as
everyone knows by now. Di Maria starting very wide on the
left side. He has been too narrow too often in this World Cup for
Argentina. Too inconsistent. Started brilliantly against Iran and then
faded. Expected to get a good reception
from the Corinthian fans here. Blue and white shirts all around the
stadium. They've made every World Cup venue
they've visited a dramatic venue, the Argentina fans.
Had a bad knee injury towards the end of the season with Boca Juniors
and is only really beginning to look sharp again now.
Lavezzi really seriously tucked in on the right and playing in front of
Zabaleta. Started very much as a 4-4-2 really.
Can he button-hole Messi into a position? No.
Viewers may remember these two teams meeting in England in 1966. It was
at Hillsborough. An Argentina victory took them through that day
to play England. Di Maria held back.
They want him booked, Lichtsteiner. As long as the referee is
consistent. I think other referees here in these finals would have
pulled out a yellow card for that. Quite rightly, as well. Djourou has
gone into the game on a yellow card and so too Rojo.
It's a decent enough header away by Djourou.
One win in six attempts against south American opposition for
Switzerland, it was here, they beat Ecuador in Brasilia.
Inler, the Swiss captain, very experienced.
A great roar goes up from the Brazilians in the crowd every time
the Swiss pick it up. They've got the corner. On that particular
passage of play, Argentina defensively look extremely nervous.
Garay's clearance wasn't good enough. If Iran had better strikers
they would have famously beaten Argentina. They couldn't finish off
the chances they created against what looked like a static Argentina
defence that day. Nigeria created, as well.
A free kick given for a challenge. He is lucky, he gave the ball away.
A free kick against Drmic, it was. He combined very well with Shaqiri
when they beat Honduras. Posing some problems down the left,
Di Maria. Pulled him back again. A sea of blue and white. A huge
noise comes out of these travelling Argentina supporters.
Djourou with a header away. Two crosses have been dealt with
extremely well by Djourou. Some of the pictures before of the
Argentina supporters, one was dressed as the Pope. Well, I
presume. A real feature of the competition, the fancy dress.
That's what you get with Djourou, looks very capable and competent.
The next minute looks like he's never played before. Can't remember
a World Cup where so many supporters and big groups mixing happily with
other big groups from opposition countries. You go to a restaurant,
30 from Mexico and 30 from Germany, Australia still here, lots of
English still here. Good pressure from Argentina.
Pressure on the ball and the man. Switzerland will be hoping Shaqiri
stays fit. He does have a history of thigh and hamstring injuries,
especially this season. That was a clever ball. Hardly broke
stride to play it. Got away from Behrami who switched off.
Pele amongst the supporters. They still call him The Goal King here.
One TVed a hert has him sitting in a -- one TV advert has him sitting in
a throne. In comes the challenge. Two of them
straight around him. had agreed a deal for Diego Costa
finally. That news going around the stadium. Behrami and Inler getting
in each other's way. That will be dealt with by Benaglio. No pressure
on the cross, Messi originally winning the ball back. That is their
first attack from the right-hand side so far. He made a great save
late on against Honduras, Benaglio. Behrami and Inler were barely
talking to each other at the end of the season at Napoli.
Argentinian Turow. -- throw. Argentina lost at this stage against
Rumania back in 1994. -- Rumania to -- Romania. Roy Hodgson will be
closely following this one, Switzerland play England in the
European Championship qualifiers. Di Maria just pointing to the number of
fouls were made against him. Di Maria or not keep that one in. --
will not keep that one in. He has been the most likely so far, Di
Maria. All of the talk beforehand was Lavezzi coming in for the
injured Sergio Aguero taking the play down the right-hand side. But
it is clear they are taking it to Di Maria. This is Xhaka. Xhaka is 21,
Shaqiri 22, a lot of prodigious young talent in the midfield.
Rodriguez pressurised by Lavezzi. Have they decided their new manager?
He is leaving, Hitzfeld the Bosnian, Wladimir Petkovic is taking
over. The winners of this will face the
winners of the second round match tonight in Brasilia on Sunday.
Rodriguez did brilliantly there. Xhaka, suddenly Lichtsteiner. Just
delaying the pass, the tackle coming in. It looked as if Messi was the
favourite. He struggles and stumbles, still gets there.
I wonder how long he will be a Wolfsburg player? Very highly rated.
I think Sunderland were interested once upon a time. Was that a foul on
Behrami? It is a foul, do not know what they are moaning about, Di
Maria. He got a bad injury at West Ham. Crucial ligament injury.
Hitzfeld looking on. Hitzfeld and Sabella very different characters.
Messi wanted a bit too much time, Inler coming in, the referee quite
right to give the free kick against Mascherano. Good refereeing, trying
to let the situation develop, playing advantage. Mascherano trying
to pressurise the referee. He does like to whinge, doesn't he? Another
former West Ham man, of course. Seven games before we went to
Liverpool. We have had 20 minutes, quite
honestly, nothing has really happened.
Sepp Blatter is in the crowd, I can tell you. We wait be seeing any
close-ups of him. I imagine they have shied away from that. -- we
will not be seen. They're very little movement
upfront, if at all. -- there is very little movement. We saw four years
ago what Switzerland could do to fancied teams, when they beat Spain
in the group stages. Messi combining with Di Maria, in
the narrow position. Gago with the little flick. Here is
Rodriguez. At the moment Lavezzi is playing down the left for Argentina.
Here is Messi, away from Behrami, Messi with the turn, looking for
Higuain. Di Maria. He was tagged. The referee will have to pull out a
card sooner or later. Probably around five or six fouls on Di
Maria. Messi, looks like he was struggling,
but stronger than he looks. They were the highest scorers in South
American qualifying, they have a free kick to open the scoring in Sao
Paulo. The little magician on the ball, what can the ganja? That is
headed over. -- what can he conjure? It is almost behind him, a
tough chance. Very difficult to score.
Headed on by Xhaka. Shaqiri battling away, he was fouled. The referee's
assistant has given that one. The foul was for Garay pulling him
back. Jonas Eriksson is a full-time referee, a multi millionaire,
selling his media rights company. He does this for fun. Good for him.
Shaqiri is still wide. Gago was with him. Corner. Argentina have won
their last three second round ties, under pressure. That is edged away.
Coming to Lavezzi. Shaqiri. Another corner. Argentina were all over the
place. Again two 11 for the corner. Full-back, a good save! The shot was
by Xhaka. -- that was pulled back. Again, Romero called into action. He
could only save it with his feet. The Swiss carrying a threat. That'll
came from the short corner where Argentina were asleep. They have
been working on that over the last couple of days. Trying to increase
the mobility of the defenders, keeping them switched on. Argentina
have? Would you believe it? Messi in the channel. Chased by
three. Still Di Maria. A bit ponderous. Lavezzi with a header.
Lavezzi. That could be their first shot. Out
of a little bit of nothing. 12 goals for Paris St Germain this season.
Always the first to be substituted. Great run by Zabaleta. Di Maria. The
Swiss getting bodies around. It is a corner. They are swarming around
Argentina when the ball gets close to the Swiss penalty box. Acrobatic,
but ineffective. In comes the corner, a good attack by good --
Garay and stop a great ball, just getting in front of the defender. He
did well not to touch it, when you look at that. That was a big chance.
It was. He knows it. He has not scored for his country. A free kick
here the way of Argentina, was it for Inler on Higuain? We will never
know. Might have lifted his foot in the tackle.
That probably sums Djourou up, looked like he was going to give it
away two or three occasions and got himself away from the problem.
Good defending by the leftback again.
Messi already a record-breaker in Spanish football. 354 goals for
Barcelona. How many will he get? 59% of possession so far for
Argentina. They've conceded a free kick here. A daft foul by Fernandez.
The boos and whistles are from the Brazilian supporters in the crowd,
all behind Switzerland. Towards the near post. Pushed away
by Romero. It wasn't convincing but it was effective.
There's the first booking. Xhaka it was. Might be his first tackle, as
well, but it was adding up for the whole team really. He was wanting to
dance as well! He went to Hamburg and the manager
there now described him as a stabilising influence. That was a
good block from the goalkeeper. It begs the question who they had
before Djourou then, doesn't it? Nobody's been able to go past him at
all, Rodriguez. Argentina will get Di Maria back to
that left side knowing Xhaka is booked.
Switzerland on the counter. Drmic. The keeper almost stayed back. Well
positioned to save a weak finish. He is very, very fortunate, Romero. He
thought about it, stopped, thought about it again. In the end, it's
such a poor finish from Drmic, should have been 1-0 to Switzerland.
A fantastic opportunity. So hesitant. You almost felt it in the
crowd. When is he going to come? Argentina gifted them the chance on
the halfway line anyway. A really big opportunity for Switzerland.
They've had the better of the opportunities.
The flag is up. Offside, I think. Lavezzi looks along the line. That
was a bit of - the mess a first. Look at the goalkeeper. Twice, three
times. He is in absolute no-man's-land in the end. Lucky boy!
Knows what a chance that was. Scored against Croatia, Drmic.
Drmic has won the foul. Quite strong, Drmic. He doesn't look like
he is, but he is. He is just under the 6ft mark. He is certainly
putting himself about. Lacks a bit of composure in front of goal, it
has to be said. Yeah, which we have just seen.
A foul and then we have... Zabaleta was out very quickly, as well to
Mehmedi. This is a chance now for Di Maria. Showing the movement of Messi
and the involvement. They've done well so far, Switzerland.
At the moment the biggest sort of influence on the game is Shaqiri.
Always looking to find this little man, Messi. Good chance here. Back
to Messi. Nearly came through to him. A bit of a muted cry from the
fans for handball. Hit one of the Swiss defenders.
Concern is growing amongst the Argentine legions. This is the way
they've been in the previous three games, though.
Drmic to the left. Shaqiri will arrive late. Drmic goes
for a corner. Came off Fernandez. A corner for Switzerland. A little bit
lucky, Fernandez. He was away, Drmic. Came off the shin.
Two balls on the pitch at the moment. Shaqiri will take the
corner. moment. Shaqiri will take the
Mehmedi has gone tight in on the goalkeeper.
thought it would be expensive, with a flow of goals. Messi has not been
able to conjure anything. At half-time in Sao Paulo, in this
round of 16 game, they go off goalless. -- expansive.
What an awful World Cup! Disappointing. That was a real
stinker, everything we said the Swiss could not do, they have not
done. They defended well. They have worked really hard. If the first man
does not get Messi, the second man will. They have had the two best
chances. Hitzfeld have got their tactics spot on, the way many teams
play against Barcelona, crowding Messi out. When Messi gets the
ball, they have Behrami and Inler, crowding him out. The tactics are
spot-on. Exactly the same way that Bosnia played against Argentina.
Very difficult to do it for 90 minutes. I have two show some more
invention, more pace, Argentina. -- they have to show more invention.
They have very good players, Messi, Di Maria, Higuain. You have to give
credit to Switzerland, they have defended well, and had two good
chances. The first one a decent save from Romero. These in short corner,
a bit of magic, step over, pulling it back, and that is a good save. A
decent effort. The follow-up, he saves it. I think Switzerland's
tactics are working. Sitting deep, trying to get them on the break. It
has not been pretty, but it is working. Shaqiri has been the best
player on the pitch. Something happens every time he's on the ball.
Messi has to do better. happens every time he's on the ball.
Messi has to do better. A clear-cut opportunity for Drmic. I don't know
what was worse, the finish of the goalkeeping. This is a great
chance. Clean through. On the goalkeeper. He does not come! We
were talking about that last night. In the end, a pass back. The
technique is all wrong, the body shape is all wrong. That is what
Switzerland have tried to do, defending well, a little ball from
Shaqiri through to Drmic. That is a poor finish. He will be happy with
the way they defended, disappointed they are not leading. Ultimately it
may cost them. The so-called lesser team has missed opportunities,
paying for it. Can you keep the talent quiet for 90 minutes? We saw
it in the first game, with Messi, did not get a kick, but 90 minutes
is a different matter. He will get a chance, but the disappointing thing
for the Argentinians, they have absolutely nothing. Do you still
insist they have better players, Ira member some of them? This team have
some big name players, doing really well in the Champions League,
Premier League. In 1986, Argentina beat a substandard England team, at
Belgian team. We are always substandard. How have they managed
Messi? I was talking about Behrami, they have pushed him into that area,
if Inler doesn't get you, Behrami will. He is looking for the ball,
going deeper and deeper. You can see the midfielders forcing him back.
That is where they miss a creative midfielder. They need someone to
give him the ball high up the park. Crowded out. As Alan said, Bosnia
played very similar. Nowhere to go. As good a player as he is, to get
through that, difficult. He gets frustrated, Di Maria running into
people. Higuain has been nonexistent. We highlighted the one
in two touch passing, but Mascherano has not got it. Not causing any
problems. Mascherano is playing the holding role, he does not get in the
final third. Even in 2006, with Rick Almay -- Riquelme. They haven't they
want to spread it. It might be worth ten sitting back, to try and draw
Switzerland out. We get the odd glimpse of what he is capable of.
The odd moments of magic. This means we are clutching at straws. Very
good movement. A great ball. Nobody reading it. He has not really been
far enough upfield. He is having to go further and further back to get
the ball. Classic Messi. He gets past Behrami, but Rodriguez makes
the tackle. Arguably could have been a foul. We have seen it against
Iran, the first at sensational. If that is all we have got, means we
are struggling. This was good, get it back, through, nearly. Again,
crowded out. I suppose, the more the other Argentinian players failed to
produce any thing, the easier it is to stop messy and stop -- stop Messi
stop Argentina. That is it. You look at the first half, you see how bad
they are, if they don't step up to the plate collectively, they could
be on the way home. This is the first part of a double-header on
BBC1. Tonight at engine switches to Salvador where Belgian meet the USA.
-- the attention. Dempsey, what a strike. Fellaini, he has got it.
Jones, it is in. The kid has done it. It is in. John Brooks heading
into the USA. -- for the USA. Already in position, Jason Mohammed.
Welcome to the Arena Fonte Nova, which has seen 21 goals scored in
four World Cup matches. All starting with the Netherlands 5-1 demolition
of Spain. Now another potential cracker, as the USA take on the
hugely talented Belgian side. I have been talking to Tim Howard, who says
they are relaxed ahead of their last 16 tie. Very comfortable, no
pressure on us. I think part of that is what I have talked about, this is
a very young group, when you have young guys, they don't know any
better. They are excited, they want to play cards, get on the pitch. The
Belgian team are so young. We were reading the stats, 27 years old,
already on 60,-70 caps. A special team, athletically, they will pose a
threat. Once we get a foothold in the game, we want to pin them back.
They are a top team, they worry us. It is good to be worried, and make
sure we have all the bases covered. We had to focus on the front five,
they are brilliant. I think our X Factor is how we utilise the ball,
and how quickly we can get after them. We want to stay compact, and
make them work. Any time you get a team like Belgium, Germany,
Portugal, who like to get forward, it is a cat and mouse game, they
want to get the ball off you so they don't have to defend, and the secret
is to pin them back, and make their front players chase back and do the
dog work. Jason has been busy travelling the
country finding out about Brazilian culture, he has tried his hand at
traditional Brazilian much Allah 's, he is game for anything. --
traditional martial arts. Brazil is known for its dancing,
betting receipts they, they like to do things differently. -- but here
in receive -- in Recife. I have never done before, he says I need an
umbrella. Going faster, higher, using the umbrella. This is good,
not a bad start. We are rocking the free world. How important is this to
the area? It is a traditional dance. On the streets, by the common
people, very important to the city, to the culture of everybody. That is
a bit more difficult. Can I stay like this? Come and report on the
World Cup. It came from the Kapil -- capoeira. In the past, the umbrella
was like a weapon. The capoeira, they used to fight, using the
umbrella to protect themselves. It started to be dancing on the stage,
it got smaller, more colourful, nowadays to help the balance. I feel
like I'm in the Happy Mondays. Look at his feet. I cannot do that. I
have not seen anyone do that since Shaking Stevens. What about
visitors, do they have a go? The main goal in the museum, the visitor
comes, seeing the exhibition, and giving it a go. That was another hot
and sweaty experience, thank you very much. Now it is time to see a
master do frevo. Take it away. I wonder who invented that? It was
better than the football. You cannot teach him anything. I was far
better. I was giving it the samba. There are just nine games remaining,
plenty more to look forward to this summer.
Welcome to the friendly games, pleasantries starting on the 23rd of
July. This year's Commonwealth Games sees
the new sports frevo! Obviously not. We need a goal, we have seen all the
big teams, thinking they are a good side, but I cannot see them winning
it. Nobody will win this World Cup. You take Messi out of the equation,
the rest have to do better, they had to start working the Swiss defence.
I still think there is a mistake in there. They have to concentrate on
John -- Johan Djourou. It may free some space up for the big four
upfront. They were not getting anything. Take Messi out of this
team, there are bridge, take Neymar out of the Brazilian team, they are
also average. -- they are average. You will remember that Switzerland
beat Spain in four years ago in the opening game, can they do the same
to Argentina? We will see with Mark Lawrenson and Jonathan Pearce.
Thank you very much, Gary. There have been no changes to either side
at half-time. Switzerland will be defending the goal to our left side.
They're all in red. Di Maria flattered open to deceive. They --
only to deceive. They switched him from flank to flank. As soon as
Messi have had the ball they've smothered him. Switzerland had the
best chances of that first 45 minutes. Yeah, we think we probably
guess what their manager said to them, the Swiss, but from
Argentina's point of view they really need to start and just move
the ball a little bit quicker. A lovely sunny day, 23C, low
humidity, perfect for football. It's not that hot. It's not the heat
that's going to stop you running. Argentina have a free kick because
there was a needless challenge on Lavezzi. It was a bad pass. Just
picking up on one or two points made in the studio, we asked a few of the
Argentina reporters beforehand, would they be happy to create space
by drawing Switzerland on to them? There's no great confidence amongst
followers. It's a corner. The ball came a long
way to Messi. Great ball. We talk about moving it quicker, that's
exactly the example we need to see. He has played 102 matches now for
Argentina. Messi will take this one. A foul. Xhaka was booked in the
first half. Not only that, I thought for a split second if the referee
let's the play run on... Di Maria was cutting inside. Lucky to stay on
there. Yeah. It's been dull so far. Can the
little magician brighten the day? A free run now for Xhaka. No free
kick was given. Another big name team that's looked
far from convincing in the knockout stages, Colombia really have been
the most impressive team. Yes. And that's including male wholesale --
included making wholesale changes for their games.
He has gone for it. And Romero has kept the ball in play. And kept it
in the box. The assistant referee was sluggish to get up with play.
Doesn't convince at all, does he? A little bit more pace about
Argentina perhaps? That's a lovely ball forward.
Shaqiri. Flag has stayed down. Drmic.
By the time Drmic gets the ball, the angle is closed down. Virtually
impossible to score from there. A defender in his way. Narrow angle.
I am not sure Argentina have raised the pace of the game at all, just
that one move really. Well played, Garay. The game is
starting to stretch, that's the first thing we should say.
Lichtsteiner loves to get forward. Sao Paulo has seen a Fairview
fullbacks born here done that. From there it would have taken
something. It would. First time he has really come forward and joined
the attack, Rodriguez. Love to know what Sabella would be
thinking about his team at the moment.
They're thinking about making substitutions. Are they too
one-paced midfield? They're very, very similar. The move just before,
Mascherano came and got the ball out off the goalkeeper, it's a long way
forward from there. It's very kind of deliberate. Attacking options
limited for Argentina, no Aguero. At first they thought he would be out
of the World Cup finals. More optimistic about him now. They've
used Palacio. He has come on in a cameo substitute's role against
Iran. Rodriguez is antivity. -- is an alternative. Only one Argentina
player in the opposition penalty area from Rojo's cross. Just one.
Higuain. Messi still holding in a deep
position. That was squeezed away by
Lichtsteiner. Great ball out to Lavezzi. Too high
for Higuain. Came into this game, Argentina, with
the highest possession rate of any country but they haven't created
enough clear-cut opportunities. Their movement has been sluggish.
Plan A, the Messi plan, is clearly THE plan.
Just a little bit of a realisation now from Argentina that they've to
raise the pace of the game. Four of the last seven goals in the
World Cup have come from range from outside the box. They don't seem to
get enough bodies forward to the penalty area for a scruffy goal.
freedom. To Lavezzi, on to Rojo. The keeper just adjusted his body in
time. I think it was a cross. Argentina are beginning to get their
game together and move up through the gears.
A corner kick. This is the Rojo thing. I think he's
gone to cross. Four corners apiece. Messi to Gago.
Di Maria goes past Rodriguez. What was he doing? Showboating. You
cannot be serious. That is Rojo. Not Di Maria. Here it is. If you were
his team-mate, you would be going bananas. That was the first time
they got behind Rodriguez in the whole game.
Schar has made a mistake, getting caught in possession, he has failed
Messi. They want to getting booked. Just dawdling a little bit. Messi
pinching it away. We have heard that Roger Federer is
watching the Swiss team at Wimbledon. At the moment, they are
having to defend stoutly, Argentina are squeezing up the pressure.
I taught Rojo may have strayed offside there. -- thought. Di Maria
on his left foot. Behrami doesn't half work hard. Mascherano.
Opportunities on his left hand side, Di Maria, all left foot.
Remarkable in a World Cup competition that a player would not
trust his right foot to get the ball in in that good position. Rojo, a
better ball in, the keeper saves well from a header from a grain --
Gonzalo Higuain. The goal seems to be coming. Will not come with
crosses like that. Won backed by Mehmedi. -- back. Inler prowling the
midfield. He is away, changing direction. He played it towards
Drmic, courting two minds. I think she clearly was the better option.
-- Shaqiri. Higuain making his move. That was too easy to defend from
Lavezzi. That is a misplaced pass. Switzerland beginning to look tired.
They are getting overrun down their right hand side. Argentina's left.
They need to stick Shaqiri in front of Lichtsteiner for a few minutes.
Messi, fair challenge, Inler and Behrami combining. Behrami brings it
out. In towards Xhaka. He was not expecting the pass. He has called a
young Bastian Schweinsteiger, Hitzfeld. He has conceded a corner.
-- called him. Are we going to see another big-name
finally get over the line? Lavezzi with the corner. Fernandez is in
there. Off Inler's head. Messi, brilliant. Deflected away by
Djourou. Coming over to the left-hand side. A poor cross. Inler
can get it away. A really good spell for Argentina. Di Maria gave Lavezzi
too much work to do. Switzerland will make a substitution. It will be
Gelson Fernandes. He scored against Spain, four years ago, he will come
on for Xhaka. Fernandes will give them a bit of protection. He had a
couple of years at Manchester City and Leicester. Lacking the impetus
of his younger days, perhaps. Hitzfeld is a wily manager, seeing
the problems Argentina were causing down the right-hand side, making the
change to shore up that hole. He gets his first challenging. --
challenge in. Argentina look for Higuain. Di Maria. Mascherano. Good
decision by the referee, Inler brushing past Di Maria. Yes, can
they take advantage of it? Zabaleta. Argentina switching it. Messi into
the gap, a good ball. Zabaleta, a chance for Gonzalo Higuain. They
look for him again, from Rojo. Messi! The chance for he -- Gonzalo
Higuain is what your number nine fries on. I would like to see that
opportunity again. A great ball in. A French match director today. His
signature is very much the dramatic close-up, a bead of sweat flying off
the forehead. As opposed to the chance we did not see from Higuain!
That one is lumped away. Inler. Gelson Fernandes. Shaqiri. He has
been quiet for a while. Trying to get it onto the left foot, but
Mascherano saw the danger. Good recovery challenge there. He
fouled Rojo in the end. Rojo was very strong, wasn't it?
Grabbing the shirt of the 24-year-old Sporting Lisbon
defender. Di Maria. Rojo back to him. His
touch was a bit too heavy. Fabian Schar clears it away.
Just over 20 minutes to go. Belgium versus the USA tonight. On the BBC.
The winners of that play the winners of this one. Rojo. A good ball out
to Zabaleta. That is a great run by Zabaleta, the pass did not match the
quality of the run. Mascherano found himself in the same position a bit
earlier, making that run. He has been a wonderful coach over the
years, Ottmar Hitzfeld. He was has a sense of calmness and serenity about
him. Anyone of a few coaches to win the Champions League with two teams,
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Over 1000 club games. Di Maria could
not keep that in play. -- only one of.
That is an Argentinian throw. Maybe in opportunity for Ricky ?lvarez,
Palacio is also a forward option. Fernandez can play wide. They must
be thinking about making a change. It is Rodrigo Palacio. Waiting to
come on. Another misplaced pass from Gago. This is Switzerland's bright
spell. Switzerland had waited for their moment. Shaqiri. A Swiss
throw. Taken quickly. Recovery by Fernandez.
Shaqiri doing well. Mehmedi. He sliced that one poorly.
He was cut down by Gelson Fernandes. No messing about. His third or
fourth touch. That was cynically done. I think it is Lavezzi coming
off. A crunching challenge. Palacio will come on. Ezequiel Lavezzi
coming off. He has worked hard. You are supposed
to do that! Will the quality come from this man? He has won a free
kick. The Lazio's goal return poor for Argentinian, only three, scoring
against Trinidad and Tobago. There is a striker as well. Nearly coming
through to Fernandez. Palacio getting up in front of
Higuain. They're almost stood on each other's toes. Always
stretching, Palacio. Yeah, he was almost on his way down when he made
connection. Which of these teams has enough in
the final 15 minutes? The Argentine coach has been talking
about that extreme pace they've up front at times and the rest of the
supporting players not being able to get up in support quickly enough and
they were going to work on that, but it hasn't happened.
Almost trying to front three now, Argentina. Higuain getting stronger
as the day goes on. Di Maria with a cross. Headed down by Djourou.
Zabaleta followed it up. Seven Swiss players in their own penalty area,
plus the goalkeeper. Messi shapes to shoot. The keeper blocks. Argentina
claim a penalty. The keeper is injured, that's the
first thing. So this corner is not happening very quickly. I think
that's what the Swiss are complaining about, a foul on the
goalkeeper. The Argentinian fans behind the goal... Was there a foul?
My first reaction would be no. This is Messi on the ball. Decent
strike. Comes off the goalkeeper. That's impossible to say from there.
Comes through the legs, as well. The goalkeeper does well. Can only see
it late. Goalkeeper doesn't foul him certainly.
In fairness to the refer rye by actually doing nothing -- to the
referee, by actually doing nothing, he's done everything. Messi just
touch it is. A brave save that is. He knows he is going to get kicked.
That's the keeper's ball. He fumbled it away. Swung out before it came
back, I think. Seemed to shovel that one away.
A wily old tactician, Hitzfeld. Sad news that his brother passed away
last night. He is staying for the rest of the competition. Whether
it's 11 minutes, or another 90 in the quarter-finals. And more.
Is this the Messi moment now? Up through the gears. Crowded out
again. Yeah, quickly crowded out, as well.
This is a free kick given away by Shaqiri.
He is not happy! He won't be happy now because that free kick was
absolutely wasted. Normally he has an understanding
with Messi built up over the years, Gago. It's not great today.
Surely blocked on the edge of the box? The referee says no. That's a
foul on Drmic. Fair enough. Switzerland are going
to make a substitution. They've been swapping places in the
team throughout the tournament, Drmic, the 21-year-old centre
forward, replaced by Seferovic. Are we about to have a late, late
drama again in the round of 16? Decent defending. Wins a free kick.
Better this time, Fernandez. Has been a better second half, mind
you, that's not saying a lot, is it? Some terrific names left in the
World Cup. Messi is hovering on the edge of the
penalty area. Comes to the ball now. Zabaleta picked it up.
Palacio in the middle. Away by Schar.
Neither Lichtsteiner or Rodriguez has hardly got out of their half in
the second half. A dull game in round two eight years
ago it was 0-0, a poor 90 minutes and 120 minutes, Switzerland in
Germany. Surely now the first goal would win
it. Nothing wrong with a tackle there.
Seferoviy has stayed down. - free kick goes the way of Messi. The
referee is right on it. Oh, behave yourself! Nothing in that
at all. Why go down like that? Palacio with that little trademark
hairstyle. Hair as in singular! Can Switzerland dramatically snatch
it? Rodriguez, one of the game's best
players. Can Argentina break? They have men on the far side. Schar
clears. That's got to be offside. It is.
One or two players starting to lose concentration.
Superb. Brilliantly done. Into the box. Palacio. Behrami squeezes it
out again. Breathtaking from Messi. It was. And is.
The keeper thought about coming, towards Higuain, Garay was there.
Rodriguez wins the challenge. Stupid boy. Rojo. He has hurt himself in
the process. No, he will be fine! He is hurt through guilt. That is him
out of the quarterfinal. Should they go through. The thing is, there was
another 70-80 metres to get to the Argentinian goal, it was mad. Daft.
We will go to extra time. Unless there is something dramatic. That
was brilliant. I wonder if they will look for
Fabian Schar, the centre-half, he scored two headed goals against
Norway in qualification, the top scorer. Fernandes is up as well.
Argentina will need to keep a tight grip on Fabian Schar. Number 22. He
is standing onside at the moment, back off Daly onside. In exams
towards sharp. -- towards Schar. -- back onside. He was actually well
policed. Could not keep it down. They have had chances in the air.
Higuain will look back on the video of this uncomfortably.
That was aimless. Rodriguez make sure. That was poor from Fernandez.
A little bit jittery. He is in his 20s. Experience with Napoli.
Won back by Messi, and the final whistle-blowers, -- whistle is
blown. We will be back for extra time. For the fourth time in seven
knockout games, we have extra time. If neither side can break the
deadlock, we will have the third penalty shoot out of the tournament.
Argentina pressing impressing, but you only thought it would come from
Messi. I thought they improved marginally in the second half, but
the Argentinian performance was littered with substandard
performances. The any time they got it from back to front, once halfway
through the second half, getting it quickly, and they got in. If Messi
was not creating anything, they were in trouble. Switzerland stifled the
game, very well. We have not seen too many teens parking the bus,
Switzerland did it well. If I was Messi, I would be saying, any chance
of any view pulling your finger out? They have been shocking. Big-name
players. A chance for Higuain. He had to score. They got a decent
position. Messi with the volley. A piece of brilliance. That was how
the game would be opened up. You were thinking, this is it. He has it
where he wanted it. A very good save. Getting down, getting the
rebound, very brave. A good save. Higuain, Di Maria, they have been
absolutely awful. Terrible from start to finish. Losing possession
37 times. That could be a world record! They tried him on the right,
on the left, cutting in... The number of times he cut in, hitting
the front man. This footballer has been pretty majestic Aurier Madrid
this year. Rate in the Champions League. Everybody can lose form.
This is typical. You do this if you are playing brilliantly, you can get
away with this. Having an absolute stinker. You have four players in
the box. Getting in a good position, that very rarely happens
getting in a position like that. Doing something like that. You do
that when you are three four up. Messi should be saying, any chance
of you, Di Maria, Higuain, having a go? To Messi's credit, he did not
half get going. He had three or four players around him every time, kept
on plugging away. I think Lawro called that right, that was across.
-- a cross. You are looking for Higuain to come to the party. A good
ball in, but easy for the keeper. Switzerland offering nothing in the
second half. I think they are going for penalties. That is what they are
hoping for. They will, they have worked so hard for 90 minutes. That
was a great chance. Great little cross. The Swiss game plan has
worked. If they played open like against the French, they would have
suffered a similar result. If they go out and try and attack teams,
that is what will happen. You have the feeling that if the Argentinians
play a bit quicker, they will have some success. The only way
Switzerland will play in extra time is exactly the same, even more so
getting men behind the ball. It is up to the Argentinians to go and win
the game. Argentina won Switzerland to come out and play. When they did
get the ball, they were too slow in transition. Only one man can solve
the problem... Messi. Another 30 minutes, here is Mark Lawrenson and
Jonathan Pearce. Over 60,000 in the ground, most of them Argentinian
supporters. Trying to get their team going at the start of extra time.
Argentina still have a couple of substitutions to make. Switzerland
have one change left to make. I don't think they will change the way
they are playing. Argentina need to step up the quality of the final
ball. Here is Zabaleta. The Manchester City defender has it
again. A couple of times he has marauding forward, the final pass
has been lacking. A good run by Palacio, aimed at him. This is the
very capable Ricardo Rodriguez. Dawdling a bit. Palacio. That came
off Djourou. The big-name countries in the second round have had their
anxious moments, having to wait, Brazil, France, Germany or coming
through. In comes the corner kick. The keeper came, did not quite make
an impression from Garay. I am not sure whether he was trying to
punch. He punches this time. Leo Messi. Fernando Gago. Away by Gelson
Fernandes. That was a bit hopeful. Not a bad
idea, certainly. The execution not quite good enough. This is the
moment he comes, does not get there. Since I keep Parry is the Garay
header. -- it seems like he parries the Garay header.
Messi hesitated, surrounded, play on said the referee. Messi getting more
and more frustrated. A decent cross in for separate --
Seferovic. A chance for Palacio. The keeper
came out, hesitant. That is risky. He has pushed off Higuain. He is all
over him. That is dangerous for a centre-back, anywhere in the game.
Garay is up from the back. Gago is there as well.
The keeper had to save it again. It came off the back of Palacio's Aird.
You are right. -- head. He did well to fashion that chance
against the taller man. Rodriguez. Lichtsteiner. Whatever happens to
Switzerland, they can hold their heads up high. Not pretty, but very
effective in what they have done. A little spin, the Brazilians in the
crowd loving it. That is as far as it goes. He got lucky. Behrami
covering Fabian Schar there. Zabaleta left it for Mascherano, and
vice versa. It is like the keystone cops out there. He has blocked him
off. How on earth could he turned to the referee and protest? -- turn. He
shouldn't. Sergio Romero has not looked greatly convincing. Inler has
it. That is easy. They have dealt with
the second ball well. Di Maria has given it away yet again. A little
kick out at Gelson Fernandes. That is a big, optimistic effort.
32 shots on goal in the game, apparently, I am being told by the
stats. Not too sure. On goal, not on target, obviously. Argentina still
bossing possession. 62%. Messi picked that up. It's out of
play. He wasn't up with the play, the
assistant referee and didn't seem to be looking. He made the right
decision, though. Should it go to penalties, Argentina
would fancy themselves, they've won three of their four shoot-outs.
Including, you will remember, England fans with pain, 1998.
If they can give Shaqiri a sight of goal on his left foot.
Messi in a position there where he can't receive. Look how many of the
players are around the ball. Play further up the pitch. A huge gap
between five Argentina players and three.
If they got more adventurous, Switzerland, they could win this
without it going to penalties. It's just really basic. Would love
to see the statistics, how many passes have been misplaced.
Possession conceded. Roger Federer is still watching
nervously. Mehmedi has worked hard up and down
the Swiss left. Rodriguez has had a good tournament. He looks a very
good player. Out by Schar. The decision-making in
this game has been so poor by nearly everybody. Amazing.
The Brazilian fans are loving the fact that Switzerland is playing
around Argentina. Three men on Messi straightaway. Not
a team-mate in sight. No help whatsoever.
Behrami was there again. How many miles has he covered today?
Well done, ref, make him get up. If Argentina are going to make a
substitution it's going to be Basanta who comes on.
He can play leftback. More comfortable as a centreback. If
Argentina get through he is probably playing in the next game. Rojo
can't, he is suspended. 106 minutes and Di Maria is away.
Higuain is joining him in the middle.
Needs a good ball. Away by Djourou. No quality on the pass again.
Three Swiss players in front of Messi.
Half-time. Half-time in extra time. Di Maria again so very wasteful.
It's hard to see which team is going to win this. The Swiss look stronger
and quicker, without really threatening Argentina. There's just
no change to the Argentine tactics. When they broke there and the ball
eventually ended up with Messi, there were three Swiss players on to
him very quickly. But that's been all the game. Nobody else from
Argentina reacted to it. Nobody was in there saying, pass it to me, take
the three players out of the game. Really, you take him out of this
team and they're very, very ordinary on what we have seen in the World
Cup so far. Aguero would have made a difference certainly. Yes. They'll
hope to get him back for the next game, if they can get through the
next 15 minutes. A defensive midfield player, Biglia. They can't
be gambling on penalties. That's what they say, extra time,
never sit down or lie down. It shows you're tired.
Messi looks absolutely exhausted there. Yeah.
They've sent Biglia back to the dugout.
15 minutes to go. They've to make a substitution now. Gago is going to
go off and Biglia is the man who comes on.
They haven't made hugely adventurous changes. Left back for a left back,
holding midfield player for a holding midfield player. What a
disappointment this game has been. Switzerland kick off the second half
of extra time. It's a goal kick for Argentina. The only thing I wonder
is that with the holding midfield player, whether they might stick
four up front. It's early but it looks like they might have done.
Pushed Messi further up, Palacio on the left. Di Maria on the right.
Looks like it's with four players. They'll have to protect those
centrebacks. It Biglia's first touch went out of play. He is another
Italian bass -- based player, at Lazio. You cannot imagine what is
going through his mind in these circumstances. The circumstances, he
had a family bereavement yesterday, he was told.
Palacio has come in behind a Higuain, virtually on top of each
other. Switzerland can be a bit older, they can go and win this.
They have not really been bowled in the game. Would be a big change,
certainly. Mascherano still ranting and raving. It is what keeps him
going. Garay. They have definitely gone
with four up top. Messi is right through the middle. Mascherano.
Palacio is in the middle. Messi on the edge of the box. They have three
players in the opposition's area. The build-up is plodding. Messi. Can
he change it now, in a blink of an eye. Di Maria. He has gone for it!
Excellent save. He would have redeemed himself, in one sweet
moment. He struck it well, but it was a comfortable save. You were to
say that all day. -- you would expect him to say that all day.
Looks good for the cameras. A touch by Palacio at the near post. Mehmedi
getting across. A poor touch, Switzerland can break. Seferovic was
not the bravest, Shaqiri turning away in disgust. Actually Zabaleta
did well, watching the ball, pinching it off his toes.
It is the extra touch, all the time. If they get beyond this stage, they
will have to improve in the last eight. Di Maria, floating it in.
Straight into the hands of the lag -- -- hands of Benaglio. For a
player who had such a great season with Real Madrid, he has had eight
anchor. Argentina have been on the winning side in five of their six
World Cup games when they have gone to extra time. Both teams looked
very tired. They are dead on their feet. -- he has had a stinker.
No real movement upfront, one paced. The left-back has never passed the
ball forward. Di Maria. Messi. Forced away from goal by Behrami. He
has got into the box. Fabian Schar with the clearance. The pressure is
on got -- Inler. That is won back fairly. Palacio, back to the
substitute left-back. Credit to Mascherano, at 30, to keep
going. Di Maria cutting inside. That came off Djourou? He did well,
actually. It would be ironic if Di Maria won this one having had that
is a stinker. He will not win it like that. Not in a month of
Sundays. Looking at his body language when he was approaching it,
lazy, laconic. Here comes another Swiss substitution. Mehmedi coming
off. He has worked so hard up the left-hand side. The man he comes on
M Blerim Dzemaili. , Davis is his third World finals appearance. He is
another Napoli player. Not too many of them have experience of taking
penalties. Blerim Dzemaili is very experienced. This well played
Rodriguez, just watching the ball. Di Maria trying to force it inside.
-- that is well played. It is a throw to Argentina. Dzemaili tries
to keep things going. Still six minutes to go. That is hoisted to
Zabaleta. He comes across beyond Higuain. Seferovic. A free kick to
Switzerland. Messi can barely pick himself up off the turf.
It has been a game full of tension, with errors, on paper, promising a
glut of goals. Switzerland have gone back to their tight defensive
security from the qualifying days. They let in just six goals.
He had Lichtsteiner available wife, he went narrow. -- wide. Here comes
Switzerland again, Dzemaili. Rodriguez.
There is no real rush, is there? The winners of this will play either
Belgium USA. That nearly came through. As he hurt himself? He's
OK. -- either Belgium or USA. Fabian Schar caught the eye in the London
Olympics, the Swiss Player of the Year last year. The Argentinian
players who have been practising penalties, Messi, Higuain, Di
Maria, Mascherano, Demichelis. He's not taking one, is the? -- is he? Di
Maria has some energy. He has kept going. Di Maria. Messi, but too much
weight on the pass. It was almost a token run. He has nothing in there.
He has been a wonderful player at a wonderful football club, he must
look around at some of his team-mates... They are distinctly
average. Under three minutes. Mascherano has worked so hard for
Argentina. They have a man over. Messi with the run. Kenny finally
win it. Di Maria, it is in! It is Di Maria. -- can he finally win it?
That is it for Switzerland, heartache. The Argentinian