Argentina needed a very late goal from Angel di Maria deep in extra time to record a 1-0 win over Switzerland in the 2014 World Cup round of 16 on Tuesday.
It took 118 minutes, but eventually Lionel Messi found Di Maria in some open space, and the Real Madrid winger didn't miss, as shared by Football Tweets:
Di Maria had looked like one of the worst players on the pitch for the bulk of the match. Per Gary Lineker, The wide player was particularly wasteful on the ball:
He looked completely lost at times, and when he fired this rabona into Row Z, his teammates were visibly frustrated, via Bleacher Report UK:
Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com did like the player's movement, however, and he couldn't believe fans got to see yet another last-minute win during this World Cup:
ESPN FC's Richard Jolly was unimpressed with Di Maria, but scoring a decisive goal after playing a poor match is what great players do:
Of course, it's worth pointing out the goal was really made by Messi's great run and his beautiful feed to his teammate. The Daily Mirror's Oliver Holt made sure everyone knew:
GeniusFootball predicted this would happen, but then again, it wasn't exactly a leap of faith:
Switzerland did an excellent job shutting down Messi for 118 minutes, building their defensive formation around limiting space for the attacker to run into. With Messi struggling, his teammates failed to step up.
Frank McAvennie thought the Albiceleste looked positively average with their best player being shut down like that:
Piers Morgan was still in awe of what Messi can do with the ball at his feet:
InsideLaLiga's Jen Evelyn agreed Argentina looked particularly reliant on the greatness of Messi, and Sergio Aguero's absence didn't help:
CSN's Ray Ratto was more impressed with the Swiss formation:
The Swiss did everything they could to limit Messi's impact on the match, but once again, the Argentine forward found a way to lead his team to a win. Jen Evelyn attributed the goal to him as well:
The Independent's Sam Wallace couldn't help but notice Messi's lack of emotion when the ball finally hit the back of the net, noting his mental approach to the game and his incredible focus:
Argentina came very close to exiting the 2014 World Cup prematurely, and the Swiss team even hit the post after Di Maria had opened the scoring. A date with the winner of the match between the USA and Belgium is next for the team, who still haven't looked like the offensive juggernaut people were expecting.
Messi has been great, but his supporting cast has underwhelmed so far, and one has to wonder what would happen if the Albiceleste ran into a team with the offensive tools to take advantage of Argentina's shaky back four.
The team's World Cup bid is still alive, for now, but improvements will have to be swift if Messi and company are serious about lifting the World Cup trophy at the end of the tournament.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!