World Cup Daily Recap: Messi lifts Argentina, Klose ties Ronaldo
Lionel Messi's latest heroics, Miroslav Klose's dramatic record-tying goal and one assistant referee's decision highlighted Day 10 of the World Cup:
MORE MESSI MAGIC
Argentina's 1-0 win over Iran is likely to be nothing more than a footnote on the 2014 World Cup, but let the record show that for 90 minutes, Iran not only played with the heavily favored Argentines, it had the better of the chances.
Then stoppage time hit, and Messi did what only he can do. Cutting centrally to create space after receiving the ball, Messi curled a masterful left-footed shot inside the far post to snap a scoreless deadlock and cement Argentina's place in the knockout stage. For Messi, it was his second spectacular, game-winning goal of the competition, providing further evidence to his critics who claim he can't deliver on the international stage as he does on the club level for Barcelona.
GERMANY, GHANA PUT ON A SHOW
Group G's games have all had a wow-factor element to them thus far, and that certainly can be said about the 2-2 draw between Germany and Ghana in Fortaleza. Four goals in 20 minutes -- including Miroslav Klose's record-tying 15th World Cup goal of all-time -- highlighted a back-and-forth affair.
Ghana turned in a much stronger showing than the team that fell to the USA 2-1, getting successive goals from Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan, but Germany refused to wilt, and Klose came off the bench and had an immediate effect to join Brazilian Ronaldo atop the all-time World Cup scoring chart. James Young was at Estadio Castelao for the affair, and he shares his three thoughts on the match here.
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA OUSTED AMID CONTROVERSY
Bosnia-Herzegovina's first World Cup is over after two games. An incorrect offside call nullified Edin Dzeko's would-be first-half goal, and the Dragons never really recovered. Peter Odemwingie's strike -- beating Stoke City teammate and Bosnia-Herzegovina goalkeeper Asmir Begovic in the process -- lifted Nigeria to the 1-0 win that eliminated the Balkan nation. Dzeko nearly extended the nation's stay with a stoppage-time strike, but his mis-hit shot was saved by Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and pushed off the post.
The Super Eagles, who won for the first time in 10 World Cup games, might look to the team they just ousted for help. Nigeria's final game comes against Argentina, but the African side can go through no matter what happens vs. Messi's side if Bosnia-Herzegovina handles Iran and either wins or draws.
Lionel Messi's latest, presented by Argentine commentator Alejandro Fantino:
Since just about everything Rihanna tweets about the World Cup is not printable here, let's take a whirl with El Fenomeno Ronaldo instead:
Welcome to the club #Klose— Claro Ronaldo (@ClaroRonaldo) June 21, 2014
WHAT'S ON DECK (all times ET)
- Group H favorite Belgium looks for a more complete performance in its second game, which comes against Fabio Capello's Russia (12 p.m., ABC/Univision).
- Algeria gave Belgium a fight before losing its Group H opener, and it needs a similar effort to remain alive when playing South Korea (3 p.m., ABC/Univision).
- The USA, sans Jozy Altidore, looks to cement its place in the knockout stage against a short-handed Portugal side in Manaus (6 p.m., ESPN/Univision).