Argentina vs Iran, Highlights: Lionel Messi's Injury Time Sinks Brave Iran, Argentina in Last 16
Argentina will be keen to put up a more aggressive show as they take on Iran in their Group F clash in a bid to qualify for the last 16 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Catch all the live updates from the match here.
Argentina take on Iran in their Group F clash at the FIFA World Cup. Catch all the live updates from the match here. (Matchcentre)
23:23 IST: That's the final whistle and Argentina have won 1-0 against Iran and qualified for the last-16. It all came down to Lionel Messi's last gasp goal as the Asians bravely stalled the South Americans throughout the 90 minutes. Messi scored in injury time to prevent one of the great upsets in the World Cup.
23:19 IST: GOAL! Just as the game went into additional time, Lionel Messi produces his magic and sends in a brilliant ball past a heroic Haghighi as Argentina go 1-0 up over Iran. That was sensational from the Argentinian captain.
23:00 IST: It has not been Messi's day at all. He failed to convert another free kick in the 72nd minute after Masoud Shojaei fouled near the Iranian box. The Argentina captain shone late in the game vs Bosnia but he has been off colour today.
22:56 IST: Dejagah almost got Iran their opening goal in the 67th minute and only a sensational save by Romero helped Argentina still stay in the game. This is getting interesting now.
22:48 IST: Messi made a sensational run as he exploded through the Iranian defence but he failed to break the deadlock as the score remained on 0-0 after 60 minutes.
22:41 IST: Iran came ever so close to scoring in the 52nd minute but Reza's wonderful shot was brilliantly blocked by Sergio Romero. And the Iranian captain Javad Nekounam is yellow carded.
22:39 IST: Argentina have looked more organised in the second half but the Iranian defence is working overtime. By the way, Iran won their last World Cup exactly 16 years ago to the day.
22:33 IST: Messi came out in deep consultations with Gago as Argentina resumed their second-half with Iran. Can Argentina make something happen here?
22:17 IST: At half-time, it's Argentina 0 - Iran 0. Several missed chances by Argentina and a couple by Iran meant both teams went into the break without a goal. Argentina were aggressive in patches but they failed to finish and the Iranian defence was courageous.
22:11 IST: Iran let go of a chance to go ahead after Jalal Hosseini's header sailed over the crossbar. Argentina were under pressure for a bit, but they survive moments before the first whistle.
22:02 IST: Iran's Teymourian commited a foul in the 31st minute and Messi took the free-kick from a dangerous position in the 33rd but his kick just sailed past the bar as Argentina lost another scoring opportunity. It's still 0-0.
21:57 IST: Argentina have missed several chances to score so far, some thanks to solid Iranian defence and some due to poor finishing. The heavyweights have certainly picked up the tempo as the game progresses.
21:49 IST: The Iran defence is under pressure but they have somehow kept Argentina from scoring so far. Not long before something gives way. It's 0-0 after 20 minutes.
21:43 IST: Excellent goalkeeping from Iranian goalie Haghighi in the 14th minute as he saved a certain goal from Gago. It's still goalless despite some heavy Argentinian attack on the Iranian defence.
21:36 IST: After six minutes, it's still 0-0. Iran have showed some spunk against the mighty Argentinians. Messi's call for aggression does not seem to have made much of an impact.
21:30 IST: National anthems done, the game is underway. Can Iran put up a strong fight against Argentina? There have been a fair few upsets so far in this World Cup.
21:00 IST: It's the usual suspects as Messi, Aguero, Romero and di Maria in the starting line-up for Argentina vs Iran. Messi has already urged his side to show a lot more aggression and a win here tonight can consolidate their position in the last 16.
Lionel Messi Wants More Offensive Argentina Against Iran
Argentina captain Lionel Messi believes coach Alejandro Sabella has to back his side's attacking capabilities and include him among a front three when they face Iran on Saturday in Belo Horizonte.
Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain is expected to return to Sabella's starting line-up as the two-time winners look to seal their place in the second round of the World Cup with a victory over Iran. (Read full story)
Argentina Hope for a Better Show Against Iran
Argentina may have started their FIFA 2014 World Cup campaign with a win against Bosnia and Herzegovina but they will be looking for a more convincing performance when they face Iran in their next group game here Saturday.
An own goal by Sead Kolasinac and a Lionel Messi strike gave the victory for Argentina, but their performance must get better against Iran if they are to make a run for the title. (Read full story)
Argentina Coach Denies Rift With Lionel Messi
Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella has played down rumours of a rift with Lionel Messi ahead of Saturday's World Cup Group F clash against Iran.
The forward told media during the week that he preferred a 4-3-3 formation to the 5-3-2 system used by Sabella early in the Albiceleste's 2-1 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina last Sunday. (Read full story)