Five areas Argentina must improve on
Messi and Co are in first semi-final since 1990, but there's much work to be done if they want to go all the way
(Gonzalo Higuain 8)
Like Brazil and Germany, Argentina have been rather less than the sum of their parts in the World Cup.
Here are five areas they need to sharpen up for the semi-finals.
1 ENOUGH WITH THE LONG GOAL-KICKS
Sergio Romero is a solid goalkeeper, although he flapped at a few crosses this morning (Singapore time), but his kicking is woefully inaccurate.
Of his 16 long kicks, only two of them actually found a colleague, which means that Romero was giving the ball away approximately once every seven minutes.
You can get away with that against a team that play as unimaginatively as Belgium, but a really good team will make you pay.
Possession may have been usurped by counter-attacking as the tactic de jour, but it still makes no sense to squander the ball like this.
2 RETAIN MARTIN DEMICHELIS
The decision to replace Federico Fernandez with Martin Demichelis raised some eyebrows, but it was vindicated by the Manchester City man's performance.
While Demichelis is desperately slow, he is such an excellent reader of the game that he almost always has enough time to get into position.
With a hatful of clearances and interceptions, it was no surprise that Belgium lost their way long before full-time.
They must have been fed up with the sight of Demichelis. The only note of caution - three wayward long passes.
He'd do better to simply get the ball and then give it to someone better.
3 GET ANGEL DI MARIA FIT
After a wretched performance against Switzerland, this was much improved fare from Angel di Maria.
The Real Madrid man will have been disappointed with himself the previous week, but he didn't let it inhibit his game.
That makes all the sadder that he was injured so quickly.
An icepack on his leg rather than a stretcher and treatment indoors was a sign of hope for the semi-finals.
Despite a spirited effort from substitute Enzo Perez, he's not really the same kind of player. Argentina need di Maria's invention.
4 FIND MORE WIDTH
There is still a tendency to search for Lionel Messi and, subsequently, to get bogged down in the middle of the pitch.
Ezequiel Lavezzi made occasional forays on the left flank, but there wasn't much going down the right.
As usual, Alejandro Sabella's best hope of making anything on the flanks came from the fullbacks, but that's a tactic that can leave Argentina vulnerable at the back.
Argentina have the players to get all over the pitch at will, stretching and working even the most obdurate defences, but they haven't done it enough in this World Cup.
5 HIT THE TARGET
Argentina had 10 attempts on goal against the Belgians, but only two of them were on target and one of them was Gonzalo Higuain's goal.
Against a better team, they're going to need to be more productive.
Perhaps this was a side effect of Messi's withdrawn positioning, because the Barcelona man rarely wastes a shot.
Perhaps it was just nerves, a destructive tension on the trigger finger.
Either way, they have to at least test the goalkeeper if they're to make it to the final.
Higuain has finally broken his duck, so that's excellent news for Sabella.
He will hope that this was the first of many.
I said after the last game that he was the player who ran the most. Today, in addition to running, he collaborated and scored a goal, which is always important for a forward.
- Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella, on match-winner Gonzalo Higuain