Jul 5, 2014 at 5pm UK at ​Estadio Nacional de Brasilia, Brasilia
Argentina
1-0
Belgium
Higuain (8')
Biglia (75')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Hazard (53'), Alderweireld (68')

Player Ratings: Argentina 1-0 Belgium

Sports Mole assesses who impressed during Argentina's 1-0 win over Belgium at the World Cup finals.

An eighth-minute goal from Gonzalo Higuain has earned Argentina a place in the World Cup semi-finals at the expense of Belgium.

Below, Sports Mole assesses how each player performed for their respective sides in this quarter-final fixture.


Argentina's team lineup for the Quarter Final with Belgium on July 5, 2014© Getty Images

ARGENTINA

Goal

Sergio Romero: Didn't have much to deal with, but had to react sharply to stop Garay putting through his own net in the second half. (7/10)

Defence

Pablo Zabaleta: Negotiated the pace of Mirallas effectively, before replicating his display after the introduction of Mertens. (7/10)

Ezequiel Garay: Looked more comfortable alongside Demichelis. The pair may lack pace, but the understanding is there and Origi and Lukaku were never given a sniff of a chance. (7/10)

Martin Demichelis: Preferred to Fernandez in the back four, and rewarded his manager's faith with an assured display. Will keep his place for the semi-final. (7/10)

Jose Maria Basanta: Started in place of the suspended Rojo. Did what was required of him, but he is likely to drop out for the next game. (7/10)

Midfield

Javier Mascherano: The Barcelona man edged out Higuain for man of the match. Imposed himself on the game early on, and never gave the likes of Witsel and Fellaini a moment's peace. (8/10)

Lucas Biglia: Impressed on his first start of the tournament. Harried his rivals in midfield while reacting quickly to any Belgium counter-attack. (7/10)

Angel di Maria: An impressive display during the first 30 minutes was cut short due to a thigh injury. Could struggle to recover for the semi-final. (6/10)

Attack

Ezequiel Lavezzi: Not one of his best displays, but the Paris Saint-Germain was always a threat on the left-hand side. (6/10)

Lionel Messi: Threatened a fifth goal of the tournament, but was unable to strike the decisive blow. Constantly had Belgium on the back foot. (7/10)

Gonzalo Higuain: The Napoli striker was fortunate to keep his place, but he responded with a wonderfully-taken goal. Came close to a second but struck the crossbar from 18 yards. (8/10)

Substitutes

Enzo Perez: The Benfica midfielder was thrust into the action in the first half in place of Di Maria, but proved to be an able deputy. A busy performance, but didn't threaten in the final third. (7/10)

Rodrigo Palacio: Replaced Lavezzi with 20 minutes to go, but didn't make much of an impact. (6/10)

Fernando Gago: Sabella introduced him to tighten the midfield, and his presence helped ensure that Belgium didn't come close to an equaliser. (6/10)


Belgium's team line-up for the game with Argentina on July 5, 2014© Getty Images

BELGIUM

Goal

Thibaut Courtois: The Chelsea stopper had little to do in terms of shots, but dealt with the high balls that came his way. (7/10)

Defence

Toby Alderweireld: A frustrating 90 minutes for the full-back who looked average when unable to offer a threat going forward. (6/10)

Vincent Kompany: Came out second best to Higuain, but made a number of crucial blocks when his team were battling to stay at 1-0. (7/10)

Daniel van Buyten: The 36-year-old could have been feeling the effects of playing 120 minutes on Tuesday. The veteran was off the pace. (6/10)

Jan Vertonghen: The versatile defender was his team's best player. Provided several testing crosses that on another day would have brought a goal. (8/10)

Midfield

Alex Witsel: Involved in an early clash with Mascherano, but was unable to stamp his authority on the game. Wasn't helped by Fellaini's contribution. (6/10)

Marouane Fellaini: The Manchester United midfielder was a threat in the air, but was too often made to look inept by the skill of Messi and his attacking teammates. (6/10)

Kevin de Bruyne: The former Chelsea man couldn't influence the match as he would have liked to have done, but he still looked the most likely to find an equaliser for his side. (7/10)

Attack

Kevin Mirallas: Wilmots handed him a starting place after his impact against USA, but the winger couldn't replicate that form. Basanta had little problem with dealing with his pace. (5/10)

Eden Hazard: From an individual perspective, Hazard has endured a shocking World Cup. The Chelsea playmaker offered nothing before being hauled off for Chadli. (5/10)

Divock Origi: The Lille striker was preferred to Lukaku, but hardly touched the ball during his 58 minutes on the pitch. (5/10)

Substitutes

Romelu Lukaku: Wilmots gave the 20-year-old the majority of the second half to change the game, but like Origi, he was well dealt with by Garay and Demichelis. (6/10)

Dries Mertens: The Napoli winger did marginally better than Mirallas, but his end product was poor. One free kick was wasted in the latter stages. (6/10)

Nacer Chadli: The 24-year-old was brought on for Hazard, but he couldn't add any spark to a disappointing team display from the Red Devils. (5/10)


Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina scores his team's first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match against Belgium on July 5, 2014
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