Round of 16
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
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.