Jul 1, 2014 at 5pm UK at ​Arena de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo
Argentina
1-0
SwitzerlandSwitzerland
di Maria (118')
Rojo (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Xhaka (36'), Fernandes (73')

Player Ratings: Argentina 1-0 Switzerland

Sports Mole rates the players in Argentina's 1-0 win over Switzerland on Tuesday.

Argentina booked their place in the World Cup quarter-finals, but it took a last-gasp Angel di Maria winner in extra time to see off a determined Switzerland.

Here, Sports Mole rates the players on the pitch to see who stood out and who did not.


Argentina players pose for a team photo prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Argentina and Switzerland at Arena de Sao Paulo on July 1, 2014© Getty Images

ARGENTINA

Goal

Sergio Romero: Was never entirely comfortable from crosses and probably should have come out to meet Josip Drmic for his first-half chance, but was solid with his shot-stopping. (7/10)

Defence

Marcos Rojo: His crossing was not entirely on song and struggled at times against both Stephan Lichtsteiner and Xherdan Shaqiri, before being booked for hauling down Admir Mehmedi. (6/10)

Ezequiel Garay: The stronger of the two Argentine centre-backs. Very solid in the air and largely kept Drmic and Shaqiri quiet when he needed to. (8/10)

Federico Fernandez: Was targeted on the ground more than his defensive partner, and was almost caught out once or twice, but on the whole combined well with Garay. (7/10)

Pablo Zabaleta: Was not the attacking threat that Manchester City fans enjoyed last season, but then he did have the double threat of Mehmedi and Ricardo Rodriguez to deal with, which he managed well enough. (7/10)

Midfield

Fernando Gago: More mobile in terms of chasing the ball than his central midfield partner Javier Mascherano, but dipped in and out of the game before being replaced late on. (7/10)

Javier Mascherano: Strong and competitive as always, and managed the occasional well-timed foul as well. He did not give the ball away much and as such his defence were more composed with him in front. (8/10)

Angel di Maria: Scored the winner, so has to get an extra point for that, but before the goal he was the worst player on the pitch. Gave the ball away some 36 times in the 90 minutes and was far too selfish with his shooting until his late, well-taken effort. (6/10)

Attack

Gonzalo Higuain: With the Swiss containment of Lionel Messi, Higuain was allowed more space than he usually would. However, he was forced deep outside the box, which he does not like, and was never really effective. (6/10)

Lionel Messi: Had a tough time of things with two or three markers on him at any given time, but regularly managed to squeeze into space and his part in the winning goal was sensational. (8/10)

Ezequiel Lavezzi: Regularly cut in from the left, but was not able to get the better of Lichtsteiner on many occasions. Subbed off in the second half after having little say on the game. (6/10)

Substitutes

Rodrigo Palacio: Came on late in the second half and was definitely better than Lavezzi, who he replaced. Had a big say in the counter-attack that led to the winning goal. (7/10)

Lucas Biglia: Was brought on in extra time to shore things up for the second half and did his job, because Switzerland did not create anything in the final 15 minutes. (6/10)


Switzerland players pose for a team photo prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Argentina and Switzerland at Arena de Sao Paulo on July 1, 2014© Getty Images

SWITZERLAND

Goal

Diego Benaglio: Had an excellent game stopping everything that Argentina could throw at him from distance. Punched, rather than caught, crosses, but was comfortable from them nonetheless. (8/10)

Defence

Stephan Lichtsteiner: Did not have too much impact going forward compared to his previous games, but dealt really well with Lavezzi while the Argentine was on the field. (8/10)

Fabian Schar: Was a real threat from set pieces and might have scored with better finishing. At the back he stood up very well to Higuain. (8/10)

Johan Djourou: Much less nervous than he has looked in previous games and aside from a couple of early mistakes was solid throughout. (7/10)

Ricardo Rodriguez: Put in one excellent cross from the left, but was not one of his best games overall, as Di Maria started to have a say when moved over to his flank. (6/10)

Midfield

Gokhan Inler: Kept things neat enough in the middle with his passes, but was not able to have enough of a say going forward with wayward shooting and too safe passing. (7/10)

Valon Behrami: Probably the best player on the pitch and was unlucky to finish on the losing side. He covered so much ground trying to halt the Argentina midfield and rarely put a foot wrong. (8/10)

Granit Xhaka: Disappointing, although the attacking midfield role is not his preferred position. Was taken off in the second half and could not have too many complaints about that. (6/10)

Xherdan Shaqiri: Always looked likely to make something happen, but it did not quite come off for him. The link with Drmic up front just was not the same as in their last game. (7/10)

Admir Mehmedi: Struggled to get involved up against Zabaleta and did not get in behind as often has he has done recently. His performance was more strong defending than anything poor from him, however. (7/10)

Attack

Josip Drmic: Last season for Nuremberg he thrived on exactly the sort of chance that he blew in the first half against Argentina. Never really recovered from that point on and was poor overall. (5/10)

Substitutes

Gelson Fernandes: His first act after coming on was to produce a rash foul, but in general he was strong and compact, although did not stand out. (6/10)

Haris Seferovic: Was a different kind of threat to Drmic, with more direct running, but was never able to get behind the Argentina defence throughout the extra time period. (6/10)


Argentina's Angel di Maria celebrates his late winner against Switzerland in their World Cup round of 16 match in Sao Paulo on July 1, 2014
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