Lionel Messi’s dazzling stoppage time goal sent Argentina into the Last 16 of the FIFA World Cup and also handed his side a 1-0 win over Iran in their Group F clash at the Mineirao Stadium on Saturday. It took 90 minutes for the Argentine superstar to show his brilliance when he gathered the ball at the top of the box, dribbled left, and let go a shot through the Iranian defence to beat keeper Alireza Haghighi. In the first half of the encounter the South American side’s attacks were being closed down by Iran, affording them no space to play the ball.
Progressing to the second half of the match the Princes of Persia grew in confidence but did not manage to find the back of the net. La Albiceleste’s goalkeeper Sergio Romero played a key role in the second half of the match when he made three outstanding saves, whereas the Asians had also had a strong penalty call thrown out of the field after Pablo Zabaleta seemed to have fouled Ashkan Dejagah inside the area. Iran’s Reza Ghoochanneijhad had a late opportunity to snatch a winner for his side, but his shot on the break was punched away by Romero.
Argentina is now through to the Second Round, with Nigeria and Iran each at one point. Nigeria will lock horns with Bosnia-Herzegovina, standing at zero points, later on Saturday.