Argentina vs. Belgium: Live Player Ratings

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 5, 2014

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - JUNE 25:  Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates scoring his team's second goal and his second of the game during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Nigeria and Argentina at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 25, 2014 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Argentina defeated Belgium, 1-0, in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 World Cup. 

The win marked the first time the Argentinians clinched a spot in the semifinals since 1990. 

Gonzalo Higuain scored the lone goal in the eighth minute on a volley that was created from a deflected shot.

Check below for complete player ratings and analysis for both sides. 

Argentina Player Ratings
PlayerHalf-time RatingFull-time Rating
Sergio Romero6.56.5
Pablo Zabaleta66.5
Martin Demichelis6.57
Ezequiel Garay6.57
Jose Basanta66.5
Lucas Biglia6.58
Javier Mascherano6.58
Angel Di Maria6.56.5
Ezequiel Lavezzi66
Lionel Messi77
Gonzalo Higuain77
Enzo Perez5.56
Rodrigo PalacioN/A6
Fernando GagoN/A6

Half-time Analysis: 

Sergio Romero: His first major involvement in the game came in the 26th minute, when he saved a shot by De Bruyne. 

Pablo Zabaleta: Was not too busy on either side of the pitch in the first 45 minutes. 

Martin Demichelis: Completed 88 percent of his 26 passes, and made two effective clearances. 

Ezequiel Garay: Headed away a dangerous cross from Vertonghen in the 17th minute. 

Jose Basanta: The replacement for Rojo made 30 touches, and completed 83 percent of his passes. 

Lucas Biglia: Helped shut down the attacking threat of Hazard in the middle of the pitch. 

Javier Mascherano: Made four effective clearances against a dangerous Belgian attack. 

Angel Di Maria: His deflected shot ended up at the feet of Higuain in the buildup to the eighth-minute strike. He was taken off in the 33rd minute because of an injury. 

Ezequiel Lavezzi: Only made 23 touches in an attack that saw his teammates provide a bigger threat.

Lionel Messi: Carved apart the Belgian defense with a few exquisite passes. He ended the half with a 100 percent pass completion rate. 

Gonzalo Higuain: Scored his first goal for Argentina since August 2013 against Italy with a volley into the left side of the net in the eighth minute. 

Full-time Analysis: 

Romero: Only had to make two saves in the victory. 

Zabaleta: Was consistent as usual at right-back with four effective clearances, three tackles and two interceptions. 

Demichelis: Won three aerial duels in the box against a taller Belgian side. 

Garay: Made 11 effective clearances and six interceptions in a back four that was protected well by the two holding midfielders. 

Basanta: Faced a few pacy runs by Alderweireld on the right wing, but he never had a real problem with them. 

Biglia: Combined well with Mascherano to make Hazard as ineffective as possible, as well as the rest of the Belgian attack. 

Mascherano: Eliminated any attacking threat in the middle of the pitch by Belgium for the entire 90 minutes. 

Di Maria: Left the match in the first half with an injury. 

Lavezzi: Made a charging run forward in the 59th minute, but he had no support and was stopped by a sliding Kompany. 

Messi: Did not have many chances on goal himself, but he did play the role of creator for his teammates on numerous occasions. 

Higuain: Had a chance to put his team ahead by two goals in the 55th minute with a shot that hit the crossbar. His biggest shot on target was his eighth-minute goal. 


Enzo Perez: Was brought on for the injured Di Maria, which handed his team a third defensive mind in the midfield. 

Rodrigo Palacio: Made 16 touches in his 19-minute cameo in place of Lavezzi. 

Fernando Gago: Entered the match to provide his side with an extra defensive presence in midfield. 

Belgium Player Ratings
PlayerHalf-time RatingFull-time Rating
Thibaut Courtois66.5
Toby Alderweireld65.5
Daniel van Buyten6.56.5
Vincent Kompany77.5
Jan Vertonghen6.76.5
Axel Witsel55.5
Marouane Fellaini55.5
Kevin De Bruyne6.56
Kevin Mirallas6.56
Eden Hazard54.5
Divock Origi43
Romelu LukakuN/A6
Dries MerensN/A6
Nacer ChadliN/A6

Half-time Analysis: 

Thibaut Courtois: Could not do much on the Higuain goal. 

Toby Alderweireld: His influence moving forward on the right wing was silenced by the Argentinian threat moving down the same side of the pitch. 

Daniel van Buyten: Made three effective clearances and two tackles at center-back.  

Vincent Kompany: Made a few key blocks on Di Maria as Argentina pressed forward throughout the half. 

Jan VertonghenWas able to make a few runs down the left wing in an attempt to spur the Belgian attack. 

Axel Witsel: Along with Fellaini, he had trouble dealing with the pace and skill of Messi. 

Marouane FellainiFailed to deal with the pace of the Argentinian playmakers. 

Kevin De Bruyne: Forced Romero into a diving save in the 26th minute. 

Kevin Mirallas: Had a header fly wide of the goal in the 41st minute. 

Eden HazardWas silenced by the Argentinian defense for the entire half. 

Divock Origi: Made just nine touches up front for the Red Devils. 

Full-time Analysis: 

Courtois: Was not forced into many saves, but was saved by the post on Higuain's 55th-minute shot. 

Alderweireld: Had a ton of trouble with the Argentinian attack on the left wing, and he earned a yellow card in the 68th minute for a late challenge. 

Van Buyten: Stood in front of a Higuain shot in the 51st minute to deny a shot that may have beaten Courtois. 

Kompany: Was a rock in defense against an Argentina side that brought upon threat after threat in the final third. 

Vertonghen: Made a small impact moving forward on the left, but he was more effective in the first half. 

Witsel: Skied a shot over the bar in the final minute of play.

Fellaini: Flew above Basanta in the 61st minute for a headed chance that went high over the goal. 

De Bruyne: Finally made an influence in the 85th minute when he earned a late corner kick. 

Mirallas: His headed chance late in the first half was his only contribution to the Belgian attack. 

Hazard: Exited the match in the 75th minute after being shut down by the duo of Mascherano and Biglia all day. 

Origi: Made only 10 touches in 59 minutes on the pitch. 


Romelu LukakuForced the Argentinian defense into a bit of trouble with his physical play after entering in the 59th minute. 

Dries Mertens: Made only 19 touches, and attempted nine passes, in his 30 minutes of play.

Nacer Chadli: Had a chance to put a shot on goal in the 89th minute, but it went right into the arms of Romero.


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All statistics obtained from