- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
Argentina’s Lionel Messi increased his chance to get out of the shadow of Diego Maradona against Iran and Nigeria ends Bosnia-Herzegovina’s run for advancement in the tournament. Germany and Ghana drew 2-2, opening up U.S.' possibility to advance to the round of 16 tomorrow with a win, and possible to win the group.
Group F: Argentina v Iran, 1-0
Saving Argentina from what looked like a shocking draw against Iran, Messi finally found the back of the net in the first minute of stoppage time in the second half.
Argentina pulled out some hefty talent in their starting line-up: previous World Cup scorer Gonzalo Higuaín, former Real Madrid teammate Ángel di María, Fernando Gago and Sergio Agüero. Despite the abilities of these players, none could get past an inspired and strong Iranian defense. With the late win, Argentina solidified a place in the next stage, and left Iran struggling to keep their hopes alive with only one point from their first round draw with Nigeria.
Group G: Germany v Ghana, 2-2
With an absolute crushing victory from Game 1 of competition against Portugal, Germany seemed to be the comfortable pick for Saturday’s game against Ghana, who fell to the U.S. No one ever expected Ghana to come out of the defensive-gate as they did, denying any goals for the German side during the first half. Within the first six minutes of the second half, Germany snuck in a goal from Mario Götze. Inspired Ghana got the next two goals, answering back in the 54th, and then again in the 63rd, giving them the lead in what could have been a shocking upset.
Germany got the equalizer shot at the 71st with Miroslav Klose, giving his celebratory forward flip for the fans. As The Telegraph notes that Klose now has 15 goals in World Cup matches, tying him with Brazil's Ronaldo in most goals ever scored from a World Cup player.
With the game ending in a draw, and the four goals scored translating to a single point for each team, Germany took the lead with 4 points, leaving Ghana with one. This opens up a lot for USA, who with a win against Portugal Sunday, will secure a spot in the next stage, and also put them at the top of the group. A win would also give them a chance to take the group completely with a win against Germany next week.
Group F: Nigeria v Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1-0
A great fight throughout, but this game came down to only one goal, with Nigeria’s Peter Odemwengie scoring at the 29th. With Iran’s loss in the earlier game, the win gives Nigeria 2nd place in the group with 4 points, and knocks Bosnia-Herzegovina out of competition. Nigeria will face Argentina, and must get a draw or win to stay alive. If Iran loses again, Nigeria will move forward.
June 22: All four teams from Group H will play: Belgium v Russia, South Korea v Algeria. A Belgium win would secure them a spot in the next round. Group G: USA v Portugal. A win for the U.S. can knock Portugal out of competition and move them to the round of 16. These games also conclude Round 2 of the group stage.