Argentina escapes with extra-time win over Switzerland


Posted at Jul 02 2014 03:20 AM | Updated as of Jul 02 2014 11:20 AM

Argentina's Angel Di Maria celebrates scoring against Switzerland during extra time in their 2014 World Cup match at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo on July 1. Photo by Ivan Alvarado, Reuters

SAO PAULO - Angel Di Maria scored two minutes from the end of extra time to give Argentina a 1-0 victory over Switzerland and a place in the World Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.

The Swiss more than held their own in the first half of normal time as Granit Xhaka's shot was saved by Sergio Romero and Josip Drmic fluffed an attempted chip when clean through but Argentina gradually took command only for Switzerland's Diego Benaglio to save well from Gonzalo Higuain and Lionel Messi.

Neither team mustered much in the way of an attack in a flat extra period but, just as penalties loomed, the Swiss lost possession allowing Messi to run at their defence before slipping the ball into the path of Di Maria who swept home.

There was still time for Switzerland's Blerim Dzemaili to head against a post but Argentina survived and will play either Belgium or the United States, who meet later on Tuesday in the final game of the second round.