Saturday, June 21, 2014 7:33 pm
Lionel Messi once again came to the rescue, scoring in the first minute of stoppage time to help Argentina claim a fortunate lone goal win over Iran in a Group F match of the World Cup.
Iran looked set to grind out a second goalless draw having held Nigeria to one in their opening match, sitting deep and thwarting Argentina’s attack at will.
After a lowkey opening to the match, Sergio Agüero came close to breaking the deadlock in the 22nd minute when he latched on to Gonzalo Higuaín’s lay off only for his curling effort to be parried away by Iran goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi.
Marcos Roji and Ezequiel Garay would go close with headers while Iran, after being denied a strong penalty claim, came close with half-time approaching when Jalal Hosseini headed Ashkan Dejagaha’s cross just over.
Dejagah was proving a handful for Argentina each time Iran counterattacked, as he sent in another cross early in the second half but Reza Ghoochannejhad’s header was saved by Sergio Romero.
Romero was called upon again by the Iranians, denying Dejagah in the 67th minute by tipping the Fulham midfielder’s header over.
With time running out, Argentina took the lead in the 91st minute through Messi who placed a 25-yard shot into the top corner.
Argentina as a result have qualified for the second round with six points from two games, regardless of the result from the second Group F match of the day between Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina in Cuiaba.