FT: Argentina 1-0 Iran

Posted on Jun 21 2014 - 7:10pm by Staff Writer

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A 90th minute Lionel Messi goal gave Argentina a narrow 1-0 win over Iran on Saturday evening.

Messi’s last minute winner sees Argentina qualify for the knockout stages with one game to play, but they struggled against a battling Iranian side.

Both sides started the game well, but it was Iran who almost had the first chance of the game when Jalal Hosseini had a free header but the midfielder saw his effort go just wide of the goal.

Leo Messi was flanked by Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero and it was the former who had the best chance of the game when Angel di Maria foudn him unmarked but the Napoli striker could not direct his shot past Alireza Haghighi.

The chance kept coming for Argentina as Ezequiel Garay came close with a header, before Messi would test Iran’s resolve with a free-kick.

The second half was more of the same, but in truth Iran were the better side and they nearly had a penalty after Ashkan Dejagah was hauled down in the box by Pablo Zabaleta, however, the referee waved away protests and played on.

Reza Ghoochannejhad came close on two occasions for the Asian side but his missed chances would lead to Messi scoring a sublime winner in the 90th minute.

The Barcelona forward beat his marker before sending a curling left-footed shot past the Iran keeper to send the majority of the Belo Horizonte crowd into raptures.