Argentina has advanced to the 2014 World Cup semifinal stage after a rather uneventful 1-0 victory over Belgium on July 5. The match in front of 68,551 fans at the Nacional Brasilia Stadium in Brasilia saw the Argentines reach the final four of a World Cup tournament for the first time since 1990. Argentina will now take on Holland in the semifinals on Wednesday, July 9th with the victor meeting the winner of the Brazil vs Germany match in the World Cup Final in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, July 13.
The hero for Argentina in this match was forward Gonzalo Higuain as he scored the one and only goal of the game in the minute. Higuain had his best outing of the tournament so far and it came at the perfect time for the South American giants. Higuain scored just before the eight minute mark after Lionel Messi passed to Angel Di Maria who then sent the ball on to Higuain. The Napoli striker then turned and drove a 25-yard shot into the low corner of the net past Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois.
Belgium tried to answer back immediately, but the Argentine defenders built a brick wall to keep them at bay. Both teams had chances to add to the score sheet, but couldn’t take advantage of them due to a combination of poor finishing and good goaltending from their opponents. The first half ended 1-0 and the second half got off to a rather slow start. Unfortunately, it remained that way for the most part.
Messi came close to putting the game to bed with just a few minutes to go when he broke in alone on Courtois, but the keeper foiled him. Di Maria had to leave the game for Argentina after just 33 minutes because of a thigh injury and was replaced by Enzo Perez. Di Maria could possibly miss the remainder of the World Cup due to the injury.