Early Higuain goal sends Argentina through to World Cup semi finals
An eighth minute goal by Gonzalo Higuain against Belgium on Sunday's (Jul 6) quarter-finals match against Belgium was enough to send Argentina through to the World Cup semi-finals.
Coming into the tournament following an ankle injury which he sustained while playing for his club side Napoli, he was struggling to find his touch before the goal.
After his well taken goal, he was selflessly played the part of the lone striker up front.
With Argentina content to sit back on their lead, he was often a lonely figure in attack and did a superb job in holding up the ball and marking the Belgian defenders when they were trying to play the ball upfield.
“I said after the last game that he was the player who ran the most,” said Argentina's coach Alejandro Sabella.
“Today, in addition to running, he collaborated and scored a goal which is always important for a forward," he continued.
Sabella's faith in Higuan however was almost tested when he comically almost fell over from reacting to a Higuain's shot which hit the crossbar.
Higuain’s early goal on Saturday allowed them the luxury of sitting back and trying to catch Belgium on the break.
After the game it sees that the Belgian coach was not too impressed by Argentina's performance.
“I’m not at all impressed by Argentina,” Wilmots told a post-match press conference at Brasilia’s Mane Garrincha National Stadium.
“They’re a very ordinary team with one extraordinary player,” he added in an apparent reference to Lionel Messi.
Sour grapes aside, Argentina move on to their first semi-final in 24 years and will face Netherlands on Thursday (Jul 10).
Source: AFP, Reuters, shuaitou