WC 2014 Matchday Ten: Messi leads Argentina past Iran; Ghana 2-2 Germany
Tracking all the news, social and off beat action in and around Brazil during World Cup 2014.
NIGERIA 1-0 BOSNIA-HERCEGOVINA: click here for the match report
Bosnia XI: Begovic, Spahic, Besic, Pjanic, Misimovic, Dzeko, Mujdza, Sunjic, Lulic, Medunjanin, Hajrovic
Nigeria XI: Enyeama, Yobo, Ambrose, Musa, Odemwingie, Emenike, Mikel, Oshaniwa, Onazi, Babatunde, Omeruo
GERMANY 2-2 GHANA - click here to read the match report.
Germany XI: Neuer; Boateng, Mertesacker, Hummels, Höwedes; Khedira, Lahm, Kroos; Özil, Müller, Götze
Ghana XI: Dauda, Gyan, Atsu, Boateng, A Ayew, Muntari, Rabiu, Mensah, Asamoah, Boye, Afful
ARGENTINA 1-0 IRAN
- Argentina coach Sabella says post-match: "When you have Messi, anything is possible."
- FT: Argentina very unconvincing but ride into the World Cup knockouts courtesy two moments of Messi magic — the Argentina finally deciding to shine at the biggest stage. Still, the dressing room will be concerned with not being able to break the Iranian defence in 90 minutes. Better teams will not be afraid of the Argentine team, but of their No 10.
- GOAAALLL!! 90th minute: Well there you go... it was not meant to be the underdog's day — Lionel Messi drops his shoulder and takes his marker out with a sidestep to his left and sends a classic curling effort from 20 yards into the back of the net. 1-0.
87th minute: Argentina send in another corner, it's been defended and a quick counter ensues — a raking pass from the left is in Reza's path and he's beaten his markers with pace before aiming for the far post and Romero gets a strong hand to it to save! Iran were that close to a shock result.
Substitutions: Palacios and Lavezzi on for Higuain and Aguero.
68th minute: OH my worddd!!! Montezari with a lovely cross from the right and Dejagah climbs above his marker and thumps a header which Romero tips over the bar. Wow.
65th minute: Goalmouth scramble in Argentina's box and Iran are knocking on the door here! The match has picked up pace now, Argentina have 25 minutes to get a win.
STAT: Iran completed 53 passes in the first half, the fewest in the first half of a World Cup match since 1966.
59th minute: Messi through the middle, accelerates as defenders back off and then sidefoots his effort just wide. That was close. You would have your money on him scoring from there.
52nd minute: Two more chances for Argentina, the first one as Zabaleta cuts in — his curler just over and the second as Aguero completely misses his header from a Roja cross. Moments later Iran break and Romero has to stay aware as the header from the corner just bounces ahead of him. Goodness me, Iran are threatening to snatch a few points from Argentina today.
- HT: Iran get the last attack of the half as Gago's foul allows Dejagah to swing in another teasing freekick — the clearance resulting in a shot which goes over. Argentina need to do some serious thinking in the next 10 minutes.
42nd minute: Chance for Iran! Fine corner from Dejagah, his set-pieces always dangerous, and the header is just over. What a chance!
37th minute: Messi chips in the freekick and it's straight to Garay, who heads it over. Should have kept it down. Surprisingly, Argentina are looking slightly boring and Iran are holding on.
21st minute: Some intricate play from Aguero and Higuain, the latter laying it up for the Manchester City striker who wraps his right foot around the ball — but Haghighi beats it away.
15th minute: Gago's through ball from the right is perfectly weighted for Higuain but the Haghighi rushes onto it just as the striker applies the finish. Brilliant goalkeeping.
11th minute: Di Maria fights his way past a pack of Iranian defenders and sends in a lovely cross which is defended. The clearance reaches Messi who quickly shifts to his left foot with some deft skill but his impending shot is blocked.
4th minute: Zabaleta controls the ball with his right arm on the right wing -- the freekick from Dejagah found a teammate but it runs away across the face of goal before anyone can get there. Goalkick.
Here's how Messi and Aguero got ready for the Iran game
Argentina XI: Romero; Fernández, Garay, Zabaleta; Rojo, Gago, Mascherano, di María, Agüero, Messi, Higuaín.
Iran XI: Haghighi, Haji Safi, Hosseini, Sadeghi, Nekounam , Shojaei, Timotian, Montarezi, Ghoochannejad, Dejagah, Pooladi
7 pm: Yaya Toure and Kolo Toure to stay with Ivory Coast team after the death of their younger brother
It was assumed that Yaya Toure and Kolo Toure might leave Brazil to be with their family after the death of their younger brother Ibrahim Toure. However, according to this BBC report, the Ivorian Football Federation representative has said, "The Toure brothers have decided to stay with the team. They are not leaving Brazil."
6.15 pm: Rooney, Wilshere apologize to England fans
Wayne Rooney on Saturday apologised to England fans for the country's disastrous exit from the World Cup after two defeats.
The 28-year-old Manchester United striker said on his Facebook page that he was "absolutely devastated" and "gutted" by the losses to Italy and Uruguay in Group D.
Costa Rica beat Italy 1-0 on Friday, snuffing out any remaining hope for England.
"Sorry to all the fans that travelled and at home that we haven't done better," said Rooney, who did manage to get his first World Cup finals goal in the Uruguay game.
"Going into each game we had great belief in ourselves but unfortunately it hasn't worked out," he added.
Midfielder Jack Wilshere sent the same message to England fans.
"Gutted doesn't come close to how I am feeling right now. Sorry to all the fans who came out and supported us, and everyone back home," the 22-year-old Arsenal player said on his Twitter account.
16.38 The tweet that sums up England's World Cup
England suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Uruguay, they were consequently knocked out of the World Cup after Costa Rica's win over Italy. Here's a funny tweet that sums up England's World Cup.
England's World Cup, in six seconds. https://t.co/vTqviny0OB
— Football Vines (@FootballVines) June 20, 2014
3.30 pm: Football-mad Indian couple off to 9th finals
Their World Cup love affair began more than three decades ago in Spain. Now 81-year-old Pannalal Chatterjee and his wife Chaitali, 72, are once more heading from cricket-mad India to the ultimate football fiesta.
"This may be my last one, but I am so happy at getting the chance to watch a tournament in Brazil," Pannalal said during a stopover in Singapore on his way to what will be the couple's ninth World Cup.
"It's always been my dream to watch the World Cup in Brazil. It's the Mecca of football," he told AFP by phone.
The Chatterjees, who live in the eastern city of Kolkata, are life-long football fans and Pannalal has been involved as a volunteer administrator for the sport in eastern India since the early 1970s.
They got their first taste of top-level football in 1982 when a friend whom they were staying with in London got them tickets for the tournament in Spain, when a young Diego Maradona first garnered global attention.
"Such was the excitement of the tournament that I was determined from then on not to miss any World Cups in the future," said Pannalal.
Four years later, the Chatterjees were in Mexico when Maradona captained Argentina to victory and lifted the Jules Rimet trophy at the Azteca stadium.
Impressed by their dedication, FIFA is providing them free accommodation in Brazil while a local television company is helping them with the tickets.
2.20 pm: Brazil beefs up security at Maracana
Brazil will use stronger barriers and post police in high-risk areas to prevent further invasions by ticketless fans at World Cup matches in Maracana Stadium, officials said Friday.
Swarms of rowdy fans have gate-crashed each of the two matches the iconic Rio de Janeiro stadium has hosted so far, embarrassing organizers and raising concerns about security at its remaining games, including the final on July 13.
"We are going to establish an extra isolation cordon with mobile fences in the Maracana's sensitive zones and mobilize 600 police in those zones," Rio military police commander Jose Luis Castro told a press conference.
The 600 police officers will come in addition to another 2,500 posted around the stadium.
They will guard the 12 entry gates and six other high-risk areas.
Security inside the stadium is handled by private FIFA stewards.
Hilario Medeiros, head of security for the local World Cup organizing committee, said the number of stewards would be maintained at just over 1,000 for the stadium's next match -- Belgium against Russia on Sunday -- but could be increased in the future, "depending on the risk of the match."
Eighty-seven people were arrested Wednesday after a crush of Chile fans shattered a door to the stadium's media center and swarmed into internal corridors before their team's match against Spain.
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