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Magnificent Messi breaks Iranians’ heart

Magnificent Messi breaks Iranians’ heart

A stunning strike from Lionel Messi snatched a 1-0 victory for Argentina against a spirited Iran side in Saturday’s Group F World Cup clash in Belo Horizonte.

Few would have expected Argentina, viewed as one of the favourites to win the tournament, to be given too much of a test by a team that has never gone beyond the first round of a World Cup in three previous appearances.

However, Carlos Queiroz’s side, who had been criticised for their defensive style of play following their opening Group F goalless stalemate against Nigeria, produced another resolute display at Estadio Mineirao on Saturday to come within a few minutes of a highly creditable draw.

But, at injury time, it was Messi who stepped up when it mattered most, curling home brilliantly into the corner to give the South Americans a place in the last 16.

Meanwhile, Iran will head into their final group game with Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday reflecting on an opportunity missed, and knowing that only victory will be enough to extend their stay in the tournament.

Argentina unsurprisingly dictated the opening stages without creating any clear-cut opportunities against an Iran defence that displayed the same determination against Nigeria.

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