World Cup 2014 LIVE: Latest on day 20 including reaction to Argentina's extra-time victory over Switzerland and Belgium's dramatic victory over USA - Live coverage - The Independent

World Cup 2014 LIVE: Latest on day 20 including reaction to Argentina's extra-time victory over Switzerland and Belgium's dramatic victory over USA



Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of Belgium versus USA with Sam Dymond and Marc Williams. We'll be bringing you the very latest news from Brazil as Angel Di Maria scores with two minutes of extra-time remaining to put Argentina into the quarter-finals at Switzerland's expense. Belgium also booked their place in the quarter-finals with another dramatic extra-time victory over the USA!

  • Hello and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of day 20 of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and it's the morning after another enthralling late night before.

    It was Germany who sealed their place as the sixth team in the quarter-finals at a time best used for either sleeping and watching tired repeats of Family Guy, but it was Algeria who won our hearts with a fearless, thrilling performance. Die Mannschaft will now face France on Friday after Les Bleus eventually overcame Nigeria on day 19.

    Today, it's the turn of Argentina, Switzerland, Belgium and the USA.

    Sam Dymond, and later Marc Williams, will be here to talk you through all the action as it happens, and if you want to have your say on either of these final last 16 games or anything World Cup related, then please tweet @sammydymond or emailsam.dymond@gmail.com.
    7/1/2014 10:34:56 AM
  • If you were one of those, like me, whose head hit the pillow almost as soon as referee Sandro Ricci blew time on 122 enthralling minutes in Porto Alegre last night, why not take the time to relive the efforts of an Algerian team who gave absolutely everything towards one of the greatest goalless draws in World Cup history?

    André Schürrle eventually broke through 95 seconds into extra-time before Mesut Özil added a second goal at the death that quickly became a winner shortly afterwards when Abdelmoumene Djabo deservedly got the Desert Foxes on the scoresheet.

    Though they had 21 shots on goal in 90 minutes, it was no rearguard mission from an Algerian side who shredded the belief that after 24 years of waiting the German team’s time is here.
    7/1/2014 11:18:18 AM
  • Germany will play France in Friday's quarter-final after Didier Deschamps team broke through Nigerian ranks in Brasilia yesterday. The breaking of the deadlock eventually came courtesy of Paul Pogba's 79th minute header; a goal that the Juventus midfielder said liberated Les  Bleus.


    France exerted sufficient pressure to force passage into the quarter-finals but still needed an awful mistake from the otherwise excellent Vincent Enyeama to break the deadlock, allowing the outstanding Paul Pogba to convert a simple 79th-minute header.
    7/1/2014 11:41:55 AM
  • The Cameroon football federation (FECAFOOT) are to investigate allegations of match-fixing by its players at World Cup following allegations of fraud in their three Group A games, especially the embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Croatia in Manaus.

    The allegations have arisen from a supposed conversation between convicted betting scammer Wilson Raj Perumal and a German journalist from Der Spiegel on Facebook, when Perumal correctly predicted the 4-0 result and that a player would be sent off in the first half; Barcelona's Alex song was dismissed in the 40th minute for violent conduct after clashing with Mario Mandzukic.

    FECAFOOT have released an official statement on their website, vowing to review the situation.

    Recent allegations of fraud around Cameroon 2014 Fifa World Cup three preliminary games, especially Cameroon vs. Croatia, as well of the “existence of seven bad apples" do not reflect the values and principles promoted by our administration, in line with Fifa Code of Conduct and the ethics of our nation.
    7/1/2014 12:15:45 PM
  • And I thought my headlines were bad...


    7/1/2014 12:27:25 PM
  • There has been a lot of questionable tattoos on display at this World Cup, not least in the France dressing room, but now Chile's Mauricio Pinilla has trumped the lot.

    The Cagliari striker nearly made history on Saturday evening when his shot in the last seconds of extra-time clattered the Brazil crossbar, but the hosts survived that final Chilean onslaught to prevail on penalties and reach the quarter-finals.

    Rather than putting his near miss to the back of his mind, Pinalla has immortalised the moment in ink-form with a tattoo that looks like it was taken from an old edition of Roy of the Rovers found in the attic. Underneath the drawing are the words 'One centimetre from glory' written in English.

    One can only imagine what he would have done had it actually gone in.


    7/1/2014 12:58:49 PM
  • Uruguay may have been eliminated, but we can't let a day of this World Cup go by without a mention of Luis Suarez.

    The Liverpool striker released a statement yesterday finally admitting his biting misdemeanour, while also apologising to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family.


    Liverpool had no involvement in the apology, and no prior warning it was coming. It is understood Suarez also acted independently of AUF. It would appear that Suarez and his agent Pere Guardiola were the driving force behind it with a move to Barcelona their primary target this summer.
    Meanwhile, Kosovan Superleague Hajvalia have made an audacious bid for the Uruguayan while he completes his four month ban. The southeastern state are not yet full members of FIFA, and are therefore not bound by their laws and sanctions. Their offer of £24,000 to Liverpool would only be the Anfield club second worst piece of transfer business following the signing of Andy Carroll for £35m in 2011.

    7/1/2014 1:26:49 PM
  • Argentina v Switzerland

    Attention now turns to tonight's last 16 tie in Sao Paulo, and, as ever, all eyes are on Lionel Messi. Argentina's captain has been the difference between his country's 100% winning campaign and mediocrity so far, but manager Alejandro Sabella believes La Albiceleste are improving as the World Cup grow old, and hopes that the knockout stages will help focus his talented squad.


    Against Switzerland in Sao Paulo, Messi can take one more step towards the realignment of how we think about football and its history. If he were to win the World Cup with Argentina, playing as he is now, with four goals in the three group games, then he will ascend to the ultimate category of footballer. 
    7/1/2014 1:53:48 PM
  • Argentina v Switzerland

    Switzerland, however, have a diminutive forward of their own to pin hopes upon. Xherdan Shaqiri may have had a slow start to this tournament, but a hat-trick in the final group game against Honduras could not have been better timed, and, as Gordon Tynan explains, the Swiss now have a player who can pose a genuine threat on the biggest stage.

    Shaqiri is the same height as Messi and has a similarly low centre of gravity and, while he has some way to go to match the feats of the prolific Argentina forward, the 22-year-old playmaker gives Switzerland a genuine threat up front.
    7/1/2014 2:06:56 PM
  • The build-up to tonight's second round clash has been shrouded in grief for Ottmar Hitzfeld after the Switzerland head coach's brother died on the even of their meeting with ArgentinaThe former Bayern Munich boss was informed of his 82-year-old brother's passing at Basel University Hospital on Monday evening.

    The veteran coach had earlier indicated that this game would be the highlight of his career, and how he would retire at the the end of the World Cup having clocked up seven Bundesliga titles and two Champions League during 31 years of management.

    7/1/2014 2:26:16 PM
  • The Independent's Miguel Delaney is live from Brazil with the latest piece of World Cup controversy...



    My money is on...(NO! - Ed)
    7/1/2014 2:29:17 PM
  • Admittedly, it annoys me when supporters react when spotting themselves on the big screens inside stadiums, but the following clip made me smile almost as awkwardly as the star itself...
    7/1/2014 2:35:07 PM
  • Belgium v USA

    The USA weren't given much hope of World Cup success going into the tournament, not even by their manager, but there is renewed optimism among the Stars and Stripes ranks ahead of tonight's last 16 tie with Belgium. The Independent's Glenn Moore explains how the American National team and Jurgen Klinsmann are finally combining together to increase popularity of the beautiful game stateside.

    American soccer fans of long standing have even put aside concern over Klinsmann bolstering his squad with Germans of American parentage, and blaming the standard of NASL’s successor, Major League Soccer. Klinsmann has also adapted. Having been criticised for suggesting, pre-tournament, that it was  “unrealistic” for the US “to be talking about winning the World Cup”, he has told the players to change their families’ flights until after the final.
    7/1/2014 2:56:54 PM
  • The Argentina and Switzerland teams are in from the Arena de Sao Paulo.

    Alejando Sabella makes just one change to the side that beat Nigeria 3-2 six days ago; the injured Sergio Aguero is out and he's replaced by Paris Saint-Germain's Ezequiel Lavezzi. Meanwhile, Ottmar Hitzfeld names an unchanged Switzerland team following their comprehensive 3-0 victory over Honduras in their final Group E game.

    Argentina: Romero, Garay, Zabaleta, Gago, Di Maria, Higuain, Messi, Mascherano, Rojo, Fernandez, Lavezzi

    Subs: Campagnaro, Biglia, Pérez, Rodríguez, Orión, Fernández, Demichelis, Palacio, Álvarez, Agüero, Andujar, Basanta

    Switzerland: Benaglio, Lichtsteiner, Inler, Xhaka, Behrami, Rodriguez, Mehmedi, Drmic, Djourou, Schar, Shaqiri

    Subs: Ziegler, Senderos, Lang, Barnetta, Seferovic, Sommer, Stocker, Dzemaili, Fernandes, Gavranovic, Bürki

    Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)

    7/1/2014 2:59:09 PM
  • The excitement of the fans is building up inside and outside of the Arena de Sao Paulo...






    7/1/2014 3:37:40 PM
  • Will Lionel Messi add to his tally this evening, or can the Swiss continue with their impressive rearguard (5-2 defeat versus France not withstanding)?



    7/1/2014 3:40:40 PM
  • There's five minutes until kick-off in Sao Paulo as the teams leave the tunnel. If it wasn't for the kits - and the thousands of eyes upon them - it would be hard to differentiate the five foot six pair of Lionel Messi and Xherdan Shaqiri from the numerous mascots swarming the pitch.

    As it is, they are giants within their own countries.
    7/1/2014 3:56:27 PM
  • KICK-OFF: Here we go! Argentina get this last 16 World Cup tie underway, kitted out in their traditional blue and white and roared on by more than 20,000 supporters inside the Arena de Sao Paulo.
    7/1/2014 4:00:16 PM
  • 3 mins: An early statement of intent from Xherdan Shaqiri and Switzerland is dished out to Ezequiel Lavezzi. A crunching slide tackle from the Bayern Munich man on the Argentine forward is almost fair - winning the ball first - but the follow through catches Lavezzi on the ankle and leaves him writhing on the turf.
    7/1/2014 4:04:40 PM
  • 6 mins: A poorly executed clothesline - think WWF-era Hacksaw Jim Duggan - from Stephan Lichtsteiner stops Angel Di Maria in his tracks on the left wing after the Argentine has cleverly flicked the ball one side of the full-back with the idea of running round him the other way. A free-kick is all that Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson awards, much to the frustration of Di Maria who wants to see his marker booked.
    7/1/2014 4:08:15 PM
  • 9 mins: A first foray into the Argentina penalty area doesn't bring much in the way of goalscoring opportunities for the Swiss, but the widespread panic from the defending side is palpable. You already feel that if Alejandro Sabella's team are going to become the seventh group winner to make the quarter-finals, then they are going to have to score more than once. In the end, Federico Fernandez and Ezequiel Garay are relieved to see Gökhan Inler fire over the crossbar from long range.
    7/1/2014 4:12:08 PM
  • Meanwhile, World Cup flop Diego Costa has become soon-to-be Premier League flop Diego Costa...


    7/1/2014 4:13:50 PM
  • 15 mins: Lionel Messi finally gets a touch inside the Switzerland half but, within a split second, he is sandwiched to the floor by a combination of Granit Xhaka and Fabian Schar. It's certainly not a nice sandwich for the Barcelona man; much more like one of those paltry Cheese and Onion efforts left lonely on the shelves of Tesco when you head out late for your lunchbreak.

    7/1/2014 4:18:23 PM
  • 19 mins: After a quiet start to the game in a central position, Messi heads out to the right flank where he nearly makes an immediate impression. The Argentine does brilliantly to skip away from the attention of Valon Behrami and Ricardo Rodriguez on the touchline to head towards goal, but the Wolfsburg full-back recovers brilliantly before to curtail the danger before it gets serious.
    7/1/2014 4:22:13 PM
  • 23 mins: It's been an extremely uneventful first quarter of the game, and it's clearly starting to worry some of you who have become use to the thrilling football of this World Cup. There are few more concerned that the following Lionel Messi enthusiast who has commented...

    Messi u r a great player. So play a hot game.Messi play your real game.at 5:17 PM

    Although we don't want it too hot otherwise we'll be here all evening with the FIFA cooling breaks.
    7/1/2014 4:25:23 PM
  • 28 mins: The best - not to mention first - opportunity of the game goes to Switzerland! And it was a good one too! After forcing a couple of quick Switzerland corners in succession, Shaqiri took advantage of the Argentina defence switching off to break into the box with and cut the ball back to Xhaka. The Borussia Monchengladbach forward took it first time, but his low effort from ten yards was turned away by the feet of Sergio Romero.
    7/1/2014 4:28:02 PM
  • 30 mins: Another corner, this time at the other end, should have also brought a goal. Ezequiel Garay got ahead of his marker when Di Maria floated over his right wing delivery, but the centre back completely mistimed his leap and missed the ball completely four yards from goal. Nobody else could make a connection, and the cross sailed out for a goalkick.

    7/1/2014 4:35:32 PM
  • 36 mins: Granit Xhaka becomes the long-awaited first name in the referee's notebook. The Swedish official had let some hefty challenge pass without carded caution, but once the Swiss forward raised his knee into Lavezzi on the halfway line, he became the first player to see yellow.
    7/1/2014 4:37:46 PM
  • 39 mins: There has been some stunning finishes at this World Cup, but this - from Josip Drmic - is comfortably the worst of the lot! It was further hesitancy in the Argentina defence that allowed the striker to roam through on goal to reach Shaqiri's ball through the middle and, perhaps it was such reluctance from Romero in coming off his line that confused Drmic. The Bayer Leverkusen forward got caught in two minds, eventually opting for a chipped attempt from the edge of the box, but all he could manage was a feeble lift into the arms of the grateful goalkeeper. Backpass!

    7/1/2014 4:42:51 PM
  • 44 mins: Shaqiri and Drmic combine again to test the Argentina defence at the end of this first half. After his recent attempt, the striker decides it best to opt for the wing rather than head for goal, and his decision wins a corner that is eventually cleared.
    7/1/2014 4:45:57 PM
  • HALF-TIME - ARGENTINA 0 SWITZERLAND 0:
    7/1/2014 4:46:15 PM
  • If we needed any other indication that this game is being played out in the middle third of the pitch, the nerds have spoken...


    7/1/2014 4:56:54 PM
  • Yet there is also reason to hope for a second half improvement...


    7/1/2014 4:58:45 PM
  • SECOND HALF KICK-OFF: We're back, and already the first minute of the second half has produced better play from the Argentina that the 45 in the first. A brilliant pass from Mascherano starts a move that sees the front three combine. After Messi sets Lavezzi off into the area, a pull back finds Higuain six yards out, but his shot is well blocked by a scrambling Switzerland defence.
    7/1/2014 5:01:08 PM
  • 47 mins: Granit Xhaka is a lucky man! The forward was the only player booked in the first half, and his clumsy challenge on Messi are the start of this second could easily have brought another. Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson again shows leniency in his officiating.
    7/1/2014 5:07:22 PM
  • 53 mins: Switzerland again up the ante on the Argentines, and the fumbling hands of Sergio Romero turns what should be a standard catch from a Shaqiri free-kick on his goalline into a panicked dash across the penalty area. Moments later, Rodriguez decides to test the nerves of the Sampdoria goalkeeper, but his long range effort is well wide of the target.

    Meanwhile, ADL has spoken and he thinks the Swiss are going to eventually roll over their South American opponents.

    Argentina are gonna lose this . The Swiss are playing a very intelligent gameADLat 6:11 PM
    That'll be all the chess they play.
    7/1/2014 5:12:44 PM
  • 59 mins: Romero isn't the only goalkeeper displaying nerves, and some startled jumping about inside the six yard box has just made what was actually quite a good stop from Diego Benaglio look questionable. The Swiss custodian was criticised for being beaten at his near post in the humbling by the French and perhaps that was on his mind as Lavezzi snuck into the box on the left and miscued his cross. Quick reactions, however, meant Benaglio was able to adjust his feet and palm the ball away to safety.

    7/1/2014 5:17:19 PM
  • 62 mins: Another save from Benaglio denies Argentina! Gonzalo Higuain got up highest above Johan Djourou to meet Di Maria's cross from the left, but his header was tipped over the crossbar by the flying Swiss goalkeeper. In an ironic twist of fate, the Argentines are being kept out single-handedly by a man named Diego.
    7/1/2014 5:18:42 PM
  • 66 mins: Wiley Ottmar Hitzfeld has reacted to Argentina's increasing dominance in midfield by sending on Freiburg battler Gelson Fernandes. The former Manchester City man has replaced Xhaka, who was wobbling his way along the disciplinary tightrope.
    7/1/2014 5:23:26 PM
  • 68 mins: Two more chances for Argentina, two more opportunities passed up. First, Higuain met a cross at the near post, but got his header all wrong, and then, moments later, Messi stepped up and unleashed a thunderous drive from outside the box that soared just over the bar. You sense we're edging close to a goal in Sao Paulo.
    7/1/2014 5:25:11 PM
  • 73 mins: Gelson Fernandes has carried on where Granit Xhaka left off - by cynically hacking down Angel Di Maria in the middle of the pitch as the Real Madrid man looked to spark a breakaway. It's no messing around from the substitute, who is straight into the book where it took his teammate 35 minutes to make such an impression.
    7/1/2014 5:30:33 PM
  • It is Gary. It's the most amount of possession lost by a Real Madrid playing Argentine in the knockout stages of a World Cup being played in a South American country. Since 1978.


    7/1/2014 5:33:01 PM
  • 78 mins: Drama! Lionel Messi goes close to breaking the deadlock after he feints his way past two defenders to make his way into the area. His low strike is kept out at the near post by Benaglio, but the parry out alerts substitute Rodrigo Palacio. The Inter Milan forward races to the loose ball and gets there at the same time as the recovering goalkeeper. The pair clatter into each other as the ball ends up behind the goal, and both sets of players are up in arms; Argentina wants a penalty, Switzerland want a free-kick for a foul on the keeper. The referee awards a corner.

    7/1/2014 5:33:31 PM
  • 82 mins: Switzerland make another substitution with Haris Seferovic replacing Drmic as they look to ensure they don't lose this encounter in the final ten minutes.

    Meanwhile, ADL is back to point out where former Sheffield United midfielder Alejandro Sabella has gone wrong...

    Argentina should've have brought Tevez . He decides games like thisADLat 6:35 PM

    They'd have to persuade him to get off the bench first. You know what he's like.
    7/1/2014 5:40:26 PM
  • 87 mins: There's a momentary flashback to Zinedine Zidane and the 2006 World Cup final as Messi clashes with Behrami off the ball, and the Swiss midfielder appears to go to ground following a shove in the face. However, you'd have to go the full headbutt to get as much as a caution from this referee, and despite the gasps from the crowd, replays conclude that contact was minimal. This can still be his World Cup.

    7/1/2014 5:44:44 PM
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