Samba Sunrise: Argentina squeak through
What they say
"Just when you thought Lionel Messi had lost his magic touch, the guy delivered again. Not one person is carrying their side like Messi at the moment, but if he keeps on delivering, what's the issue? His work to set up Angel Di Maria for the winning goal was nothing short of spell-binding. What a player. Match Entertainment Value: 6.5/10"
FFT/Shepparton News' Matthew Galea, Argentina 1 Switzerland 0 (aet)
"This was everything extra-time should be like, but seldom is. Great fight from the USA, although Belgium deserved their victory. The Americans can hold their heads very high, while the Red Devils will want to work on their finishing. What a game though... What a World Cup! Match Entertainment Value: 9/10"
Goal.com's Teng Kiat, Belgium 2 USA 1 (aet)
Crestfallen full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner has taken his share of the blame as Switzerland suffered World Cup heartbreak against Argentina. "On the goal I lost the ball after a challenge and they were able to run in on goal," he said.
"We were punished when the match was practically over. It's such a shame."
Match-winner Angel di Maria shared the plaudits after Argentina battled past Switzerland 1-0 to reach the World Cup quarter-finals. "The heroes are the 23 (squad members) and the coaching staff," the 26-year-old said told reporters. “We gave everything out there."
"We left our heart and soul on the pitch. We were always in the game and we never gave up for a minute."
United States goalkeeper Tim Howard could not hide his devastation after his team was eliminated from the World Cup this morning. "It's heartbreaking," Howard said post-game. "We gave everything, I don't think we could have given anymore. What a great game of football.
"We left it all out there. We got beaten by a really good team. They took their chances well."
Belgium coach Marc Wilmots was scared late in his team's win over the United States, but feels they deserved to advance.
"We had at least 15 scoring opportunities, so we deserved to go through, even though it was scary to the very end," he told reporters.
Netherlands are likely to be without defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong for the remainder of the World Cup. De Jong hobbled off against Mexico after only nine minutes and an MRI scan has confirmed a tear that is set to sideline the AC Milan man for two to four weeks.
Arturo Vidal and Gary Medel are on the road to recovery after MRI scans provided positive news for the pair. Both players featured as Chile were eliminated from the World Cup on penalties at the hands of hosts Brazil on Saturday, but had been suffering with injuries in the build-up to the second-round clash.
Espanyol have revealed that Hector Moreno will be sidelined for up to six months as he prepares to undergo surgery on a broken tibia. The defender suffered the injury when he challenged Arjen Robben during Mexico's last-16 clash with the Netherlands at the World Cup on Sunday.
Brazil's Victor has talked down Colombia star James Rodriguez's ability ahead of the World Cup clash between the teams. The reserve goalkeeper said he would not describe the 22-year-old Monaco man as "special".
Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen has praised the versatility of team-mate Dirk Kuyt at the World Cup. The Fenerbahce winger won his 100th cap in the last-16 triumph over Mexico on Sunday, filling in at left wing-back before switching to the right.
The convicted match-fixer who was said to have predicted a FIFA World Cup scoreline involving Cameroon has emphatically denied the claims. Wilson Raj Perumal insisted that he only commented about the Cameroon team after the match – something refuted by Der Spiegel.
Giancarlo Gonzalez says Costa Rica have achieved their World Cup goal of alerting a wider audience to their country's football. "That was one of our main goals here in Brazil," he told reporters. "Letting the world know about Costa Rican football."
Mexico duo Giovani dos Santos and Miguel Layun want coach Miguel Herrera to be retained despite a second-round World Cup exit. Mexico, who endured a tumultuous qualifying bid before Herrera's arrival, caught the eye in Brazil and cruised through Group A unbeaten after beating both Cameroon and Croatia, while they also drew 1-1 with the hosts.
Ink! Gossip! Match-fixing (or not)! Nick Harper brings you up to date with all the news that's fit to, er, print off?
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