Argentina are doing well to hold on to a one goal lead over Belgium at the break, but a change or two from the Red Devils could well upset the balance. Will the dark horses win out in the end?
8′: Gonzalo Higuaín gets his first goal of the 2014 World Cup, but Lionel Messi is at the heart of it, of course. Messi managed to hold on to the ball even as a mass of red shirts attempted to muscle him off it, eventually slotting through to Ángel di María. His pass bounced off a Belgian defender, dropping to Higuaín who had plenty of space in front of goal in which to volley his shot into the back of Thibaut Courtois’ net.
Other key moments
8′: Argentina take the lead through a goal from Gonzalo Higuaín.
13′: Belgium get their first shot in, but Kevin De Bruyne goes wide.
22′: di María plays a bit of keepy-uppy, avoids two challenges but his flick to Higuaín is intercepted.
26′: De Bruyne’s shot from distance is palmed away by Sergio Romero, but Divock Origi isn’t in a good position to take advantage of the rebound.
33′: di María limps off injured, Enzo Pérez replaces.
40′: Marouane Fellaini fouls Messi three times before the Argentine finally goes down, earning a free kick in a dangerous position. His shot goes just wide, however.
42′: Kevin Mirallas comes close with a header off a Jan Vertonghen cross.
Argentina: Romero; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Garay, Basanta; Biglia, Mascherano, di Maria (Perez 33); Lavezzi, Messi, Higuain
Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Van Buyten, Kompany, Vertonghen; Witsel, Fellaini; De Bruyne, Mirallas, Hazard, Origi
Question for the second half
When will we see the first change from Marc Wilmots?
The Belgium lineup suggests Wilmots was holding back, perhaps hoping to keep Argentina from scoring until deep in the match, when he would then bring in fresh legs in the form of Romelu Lukaku and/or Dries Mertens. But with Belgium chasing the game practically from the first whistle, Wilmots might do well to make at least one change at the restart. Fellaini in particular has disappointed, and it may make sense to haul him off sooner rather than later.