Happy Days

Breakfast at Bebeto’s: All you need to know from the 10th night of World Cup action

It was another memorable 24 hours, as Ghana and Iran exceeded expectations, Messi rose to the occasion and Nigeria knocked out Bosnia.

On Day 10…

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA’S MAIDEN appearance at a World Cup finals ended in disappointment as Peter Odemwingie’s goal condemned them to a 1-0 defeat by African champions Nigeria in Cuiaba and ensured they could not qualify for the second round. Nigeria’s win, their first at a World Cup finals since 1998, leaves them as favourites to join Argentina in the second round.

Brazil Soccer WCup Nigeria Bosnia Fernando Llano Fernando Llano

(Nigeria’s Kenneth Omeruo, right, celebrates as Bosnia’s Edin Dzeko, left, sits on the pitch)

Meanwhile, Miroslav Klose hit a World Cup record-equalling 15th goal as Germany fought back to claim a 2-2 draw with Ghana. Veteran striker Klose had only been on the pitch as a substitute for two minutes in Fortaleza when he jabbed home Germany’s equaliser and joined Brazilian great Ronaldo on top of the all-time scoring charts. The 36-year-old Lazio striker struck in the 71st minute of a thrilling Group G game at the Castelao Stadium after goals from Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan had fired Ghana into a 2-1 lead. Mario Götze had given Germany the lead, heading in off his own knee on 51 minutes after a goalless first half.

Brazil Soccer WCup Germany Ghana Martin Mejia Martin Mejia

(Germany’s Miroslav Klose does a somersault after scoring his side’s second goal)

Finally, Lionel Messi scored a brilliant injury time winner as Argentina overcame Iran 1-0 in Belo Horizonte to squeeze into the second round. Four-time world player of the year Messi curled in a sublime shot from just outside the area in the first minute of stoppage time to break Iranian hearts in the Group F battle. The Argentina captain had been largely anonymous for much of the match as Iran frustrated the South American giants at the Mineirao Stadium.

Brazil Soccer WCup Argentina Iran Martin Meissner Martin Meissner

(Iran’s goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi dives but fails to stop a goal by Argentina’s Lionel Messi)


The underdogs - Despite many people predicting a rout in favour of Argentina, Iran held their own in yesterday’s Group F encounter, producing a tactically intelligent defensive display that enabled them to create at least three clear-cut chances, all of which they failed to take, as well as having an obvious penalty turned down. In the end, they were undone by a moment of magic from Lionel Messi, but manager Carlos Queiroz justifiably declared himself proud of the Asian team after they exceeded expectations on Saturday.

Brazil Soccer WCup Germany Ghana Themba Hadebe Themba Hadebe

(Ghana’s Andre Ayew celebrates scoring his side’s first goal)

And similarly, Ghana recovered from their disappointing opening loss against the US to draw 2-2 with one of the tournament favourites — Germany. A spirited display from the African side saw them pass up several chances before eventually having to be content with a point following Miroslav Klose’s leveller 19 minutes from time.


Brazil Soccer WCup Argentina Iran Sergei Grits Sergei Grits

(Argentine soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona leaves the tribune during the group F World Cup soccer match between Argentina and Iran)

Diego Maradona - The Argentinian legend was in attendance for his country’s game with Iran, yet so unimpressed was the former star by the South American team’s initial lack of inspiration that he departed the game early, thereby missing Messi’s Maradona-like intervention as Alejandro Sabella’s side belatedly confirmed their place in the second round of the tournament.

Joga Bonito

There is only one inevitable choice for this slot today — it is, of course, Lionel Messi showing why most people rate him as the best footballer in the world.

What we’ve got to look forward to today

Additional reporting by AFP

Klose equals Ronaldo’s scoring record as Ghana hold Germany in thriller

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