World Cup 2014 Brazil: Day 20 Review - Tim Howard's heroics not enough

Jamie McDonald

Argentina played underdogs Switzerland and Belgium took part in a cracking goalless draw against USA - the highlight being Tim Howard's sensational performance

Round of 16

Argentina 0-0 Switzerland

1-0 ET

The Argentines were huge favourites going into this game, indeed they are highly fancied for the tournament itself,  meaning the Swiss had to prove their worth in the Arena de Sao Paulo. As expected the conservative Swiss set out to defend their goal from start to finish and restrict Argentina from getting the ball in midfield. The Europeans succeeded for the full 90 minutes with Argentina only hitting the target four times throughout normal time in what was one of the dullest games of the tournament so far. However, they finally took the lead and broke Swiss hearts when Angel Di Maria opened the scoring with just 10 minutes left of extra time. It was all down to a a surging run down the centre of the pitch by Lionel Messi, who slipped a ball across the box to Di Maria, who then calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner. Overall Switzerland just didn't have enough of the ball to win and Argentina became the third South American team to reach the quarter-finals ( with Costa Rica representing Central America!).

Man of the match: Lionel Messi 8/10

Belgium 0-0 USA

2-1 ET

This game had the potential to be the best of the tournament yet, the only thing it lacked were the goals in normal time.

That was largely down to one man.

Tim Howard grabbed the headlines and deservedly so after a sensational performance that some have labelled the best ever for goalkeeper at the World Cup. The Everton goalkeeper broke a World Cup record in saving 16 shots throughout the game against an all-star Belgium side. That fact alone doesn't do him credit as in total the Belgians had 23 shots on target in the 90 minutes but the USA held firm. It was only in extra time when the Red Devils could break down the American's defences, Kevin De Bruyne firing home after good work by substitute Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku then seemingly finished the tie off with Belgium's second just before half-time in extra time. However, the USMNT hadn't finished yet as on 107 minutes substitute Julian Green got his side back into the game with a sliced volley that looped into the corner.The USA then frantically peppered the Belgian goal in a dramatic final few minutes but could find a way through. It was certainly a very impressive performance from USA and some would say they were unlucky to leave the tournament at this stage. They certainly left with their pride intact.

Man of the match: Tim Howard 9/10.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Royal Blue Mersey

You must be a member of Royal Blue Mersey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Royal Blue Mersey. You should read them.

Join Royal Blue Mersey

You must be a member of Royal Blue Mersey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Royal Blue Mersey. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker