2014 FIFA World Cup: Day 10 Recap

Crisis Averted for Argentina

It took more than 90 minutes to see a goal in what should have been a lopsided affair, but Lionel Messi played saviour for Argentina, rescuing his mates after a disastrous performance. Argentina enjoyed an absurd 70 per cent possession through the game, but played almost as if they weren’t interested in winning—they booted crosses well out of bounds and took their sweet time setting up for shots, squandering a wealth of opportunities for 90 minutes. Even Messi, while still showing the incredible footwork for which he’s famous, was just out of sync with his teammates. Argentine keeper Sergio Romero was called on twice to make quality stops that kept his team level, but never should have been so responsible for Argentina’s fortunes. Luckily, Messi was able to show why he’s arguably the best in the world, coming through with a surgical strike in stoppage time. Argentina are now officially entered in the round of 16 while Iran will have to make a strong showing against Bosnia and Herzegovina if they have any ambitions of advancing.

Stars Align for Ghana as Germany Fades

It’s official: in this World Cup Final there are no favourites anymore. Defending champs Spain are eliminated, Brazil couldn’t muster a single goal against Mexico, Costa Rica—who beat Uruguay handily—defeated Italy just yesterday, while today the seemingly unflappable German squad barely escaped with a single point against Ghana.  Germany opened the game with most of the control, refusing to concede possession but failing to do much with the ball, whereas Ghana at least put together a couple of hopeful opportunities. Minutes after halftime, Germany went ahead when Mario Goetze made a perfect run into the Ghanaian penalty area—so perfect that he actually misplayed a header off his own knee and still scored. But Ghana roared back three minutes on a marvellous header by Andre Ayew, then pulled ahead in the 63rd minute when Sulley Muntari stole a pass in German territory and sent captain Asamoah Gyan in alone to score on the helpless German keeper. Ghana kept coming, creating more and more chances for themselves but coming up just short, and Germany finally made them pay. Just two minutes after being substituted into the game, 36-year-old Miroslav Klose met the end of a corner kick to tie the game and match the record for most World Cup Finals goals—Brazil’s Ronaldo is the only other player with 15. The final 10 minutes turned into a footrace, both teams barging down the field and trading chances, trying desperately for a tiebreaker, but neither could find what they were looking for. And as if Germany didn’t have enough to worry about, their star striker, Thomas Muller, finished the game in a heap, face covered in blood after smashing it against the shoulder of John Boye. No word on his health yet, but Germany look like they’ll need all the help they can get in their final group game against Team USA.

Drew Berner

Drew Berner is a freelance writer born and raised in Toronto and specializing in entertainment, sports and politics. He occasionally collects vinyl records, enjoys hate-watching the Blue Jays, appreciates good beer and great scotch, and goes to sleep each night with 120 lbs. of Great Dane draped over him (it’s a lot more comfortable than it sounds). Follow him on Twitter @DrewBerner for photos of huge dogs, observational humour and assorted sports rage.

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