Argentina qualified for the World Cup Semi Final for the first time since 1990 after Gonzalo Higuaín’s early goal was enough to see off Belgium and set up a tantalising clash with the Netherlands. The one negative for La Albiceleste was the injury sustained by Ángel Di María who may now miss the remainder of the tournament.
Argentina have been made to toil in all of their previous four matches and although this too was decided by just a single goal, Higuaín provided the breakthrough after just 8 minutes.
Lionel Messi twisted and turned out of a tight spot on half way and found Di María, whose attempted shot was deflected into the path of Higuaín. The under-fire striker instinctively volleyed the ball past Thibaut Courtois on the turn.
Belgium were disappointing in their response and Sabella’s tweaked side, including Martín Demechelis and José Basanta in defence and Lucas Biglia in midfield managed to limit their European opponents to few chances.
The worrying moment from the first half was the injury to Ángel Di María who went off clutching this thigh after taking a shot.
After half time it was Argentina who created the better opportunities with Higuaín clipping the cross bar when through on goal (prompting the hilarious Sabella fall, which has been dominating Twitter).
In their efforts to find a way back into the game, Belgium changed to a far more direct tactic with Maroune Fellani as a secondary striker but there was still little for Sergio Romero to do in the Argentine goal.
Lionel Messi had a glorious opportunity in injury time to put the game beyond doubt but Courtois stood up well and managed to stop the Argentina captain when clean through.
The injury to Di María is a real cause for concern but for now Argentina can celebrate breaking their Quarter Final duck and reaching the Semi Final once again.