Argentina just advanced into the quarterfinals thanks to an Extra Time-winner by Angel di Maria that was assisted by Lionel Messi. Switzerland were extremely strong and disciplined defensively, but they made the one mistake in midfield that led to the goal. The scoreline couldn’t be a bigger lie.
The Swiss had their chances even though the Argentinians outshot them by a mile. Regardless, they decided to sit back and allow the pressure from their opponents, knowing that their defense, midfield and keeper could all hold their own and perhaps start a successful counter. Unfortunately, the one mistake bit them hard in the end even though they hit the post right after and blew a free-kick opportunity just seconds before the final whistle.
Xherdan Shaqiri and Admir Mehmedi showed that they are truly a fearless duo going forward as they held the ball up and created most of their country’s chances. Argentina’s true defensive colors showed when it came to trying to stop these guys without fouling them. They were stopped by bad luck which made it seem too unfair as they were playing against a much better side — or so we thought prior to the match.
The midfield and attack of Argentina is brilliant when it comes to creating. The one thing they lack is the ability to break down tough defenses. The one man who halted and broke up so many attacks of theirs was center back Johan Djourou. There is always that one defender who knows how to calmly stop the best strikers in the world, and today was his day.
Next up, Argentina will face Belgium or the United States in the quarterfinals. After today, it will be too difficult to say that they will coast through to the semifinals. In fact, if their defense is this poor and they have to be saved by luck and prayer, they should lose because frankly that is no way to win more than one game. Talent, skill and teamwork is how games should be won.
As for Switzerland, they can hold their heads high as they know they lost due to divine intervention. They practically shut down a team throughout the entire match except for one horrible error. The deserved more but did not get it.